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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



motion n

[Anglo-French, from Latin motion- motio movement, from movēre to move]
1 : a proposal for action
: a formal proposal made in a legislative assembly [made a to refer the bill to committee]
2 a : an application made to a court or judge to obtain an order, ruling, or direction [a to arrest judgment]
: a document containing such an application
b : the initiative of a court to issue an order, ruling, or direction [the court is given discretion to order a pretrial conference either on its own or at the request of a party "J. H. Friedenthal et al."]

motion for judgment on the pleadings
: a motion made after pleadings have been entered that requests the court to issue a judgment at that point compare summary judgment at judgment NOTE: Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if matters outside of the pleadings are presented to the court when a motion for judgment on the pleadings is made, the motion will be treated as a motion for summary judgment.

motion for more definite statement
: a motion that is filed before an answer and that requests the court to order the plaintiff to clarify allegations in the complaint because the claims are so vague or ambiguous that an answer cannot reasonably be framed

motion in bar
: a motion that bars an action (as trial or prosecution) used esp. in Georgia and Illinois

motion in lim·i·ne
: a usually pretrial motion that requests the court to issue an interlocutory order which prevents an opposing party from introducing or referring to potentially irrelevant, prejudicial, or otherwise inadmissible evidence until the court has finally ruled on its admissibility

motion to suppress
: a pretrial motion requesting the court to exclude evidence that was obtained illegally and esp. in violation of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment protections

om·ni·bus motion
[Ä m-ni-bəs-]
: a motion that makes multiple requests [filing an omnibus motion to dismiss and for a more definite statement "Department of Ins. of Florida v. Coopers & Lybrand, 570 So. 2d 369 (1990)"]
vb : move [ed for a summary judgment]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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