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an application to the court requesting an order in favor of the
applicant. Motions are generally made in reference to a pending action and may be addressed to a matter within
the discretion of the judge, or may concern a point of law. Motions may be made orally or, more formally, in writing.
MOTION FOR JUDGMENT: a motion admitting an agreed-upon statement of facts that leaves the dominant
issue in the case as one of a matter of law, thereby relegating the issue for a determination by the court
rather than by a jury.
See judgment [JUDGMENT NOT-WITHSTANDING THE VERDICT]; summary judgment.
MOTION IN ARREST OF JUDGMENT: application made by defendant to withhold judgment after verdict. The motion, like a demurrer, must point out some fatal defect arising as a matter of law from the record.
MOTION IN ERROR: same as a writ of error, except no notice to opponent is required, because both parties are before the court when a motion in error is made.
MOTION IN LIMINE: a motion used to exclude reference to anticipated evidence claimed to be objectionable until the admissibility of the questionable evidence can be determined either before or during the trial by presenting the court, out of the presence of the jury, offers and objections to the evidence. The motion seeks to avoid injection into trial of irrelevant, inadmissible, or prejudicial evidence at any point, including the voir dire examinations, opening statements, and direct and cross-examinations, and therefore prevents mistrials based on evidentiary irregularities.
MOTION TO SET ASIDE JUDGMENT: exactly like MOTION IN ARREST OF JUDGMENT (above), except that while a motion to arrest must be made during term of court which renders judgment, a motion to set aside judgment can be made at any time within the applicable statute of limitations. Both motions must be based on a legal defect appearing on the face of the record.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016