Througout the litigation process, you may hear about a lot of “motions” filed in your case. A motion is a request made to the court. They usually are written requests, but they also may be made orally in court. One of the more common motions you will see is a motion for continuance, which is a request to extend a deadline. However, some motions can have a significant impact on the trial, such as a motion in limine, which is a request to limit the evidence presented to the judge or jury.
The person that files the motion is called the “moving party.” The responding party has a designated amount of time to reply to the moving party’s request. The amount of time to respond may be found in the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules for the Court, or may be specified in a judicial order. If the responding party fails to file a response within the designated time, the court may grant the moving party’s request without any additional information.
If the moving party’s request is supported with relevant law, the responding party will need to perform legal research to rebut their position. This can be difficult without the proper tools and training. LexisNexus and Google Scholar offer free search engines for searching legal opinions, but these tools have limited capabilities. There are also resources available at a law library, such as the Cleveland State Law Library or the Cleveland Law Library. The staff at these libraries may be able to assist with researching the issues raised in the motions.