How do I File a Motion?
Before, during or after your hearing you may ask to the court to consider a specific issue in your case and make a decision about it. Requesting this is called “making a motion.” There are many types of motions. Some motions are so common they have their own, specific forms. To learn if there is a specific form for a motion you want to make, check with your Small Claims Advisor.
If there is no special form for the motion you want to make in small claims court, you can use the general form listed below and take the following steps:
Step 1. Get and fill out your court forms.
For most motions, you may use the:
- Request for Court Order and Answer (Form SC-105)
At the same time, get a copy of the:
- Order on Request for Court Order (Form SC-105A)
Leave this form blank – except for the information about the parties in the case, in the top portion of page 1. Include this SC-105A when you file your Form SC-105. The clerk and court will fill out the rest of Form SC-105A – the Order.
Fill out Form SC-105, except for the boxes which instruct the clerk to fill in (or sign). Pay special attention to:
- Question 3: Since this is a general form, be sure to tell the court specifically what you want.
- Question 4: Tell the court why you are asking it to do what you are requesting.
- If you need more space than is provided in Question 4, attach a Declaration (Form MC-031) and write ‘See attached Declaration’ in #4, instead of your reasons.
- Put the reasons for your request on the Declaration (Form MC-031).
Make copies of Form SC-105, any declarations, and any documents that will help you prove to the court why it should decide in favor of doing what you are requesting. Make one copy for your files and one copy for each other party in the case. (The court will keep the original.)
For example, if you are asking the court to dismiss the case against you because you are the wrong defendant corporation, attach paperwork that shows you are the wrong defendant -- such as a blank original of company letterhead or a declaration of a witness.
Your witness can make his or her Declaration on (Form MC-030).
Step 2. Inform the other side (service of process).
You will have to give or mail a copy of the forms and attached documents and/or declarations to the other side before or on the same day that you file the paperwork, depending on when you are filing the request.
- Before the trial hearing:
- If you have served the defendant(s) in the case – you must mail a copy to all of the other parties.
- If you have not served the defendant(s) – you don’t mail anyone a copy of the paperwork.
- After the trial hearing:
- The court clerk will mail a copy of your motion to all other parties.
NOTE: This is different from most service of process.
Step 3. File your court forms.
Mail or take the court forms -- and declarations, if there are any, and/or attachments, if there are any -- to the court filing window. The clerk will put the original papers in the case file, then stamp the photocopies and return them to the person doing the filing.
- Remember to include the Form SC-105A – the court order.
The court’s decision
The court will use the Order on Request for Court Order (Form SC-105A) to let each side know if it granted the request or denied it.
NOTE: The court may hold a special hearing on the request. If the court sets a hearing, the court will inform each side in writing on Form SC-105A.
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