Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- A formal request that a judge enter a particular order or ruling in a lawsuit. An oral motion may be made during trial -- for example, to strike the testimony of a witness or admit an exhibit. Often, motions are made in writing, accompanied by a written statement explaining the legal reasons why the court should grant the motion. The other party has an opportunity to file a written response, and then the court decides whether to grant or deny the motion. The court may hold a hearing where each party can argue its side, or may decide the issue without a hearing.