Motion Practice

AuthorJennifer Duncan-Brice
Def‌inition: A motion is an application to a court for an order granting some form of relief, such as requiring a party
or nonparty to act or forbear from acting in a certain way. Motions are usually made in writing and on notice to the
other parties, although some emergency motions may be made ex parte, i.e., without notice.
Scope: Rules and techniques common to all motions. Formalities of notice. Requirements for written motions, oppositions,
briefs and supporting materials. Procedures and tactics for the hearing on a motion. Special types of motions: ex parte
motions; emergency motions; disclosure motions.
Strategies and Tactics:
Prepare motions and supporting materials carefully so that a busy judge quickly understands why relief
should be granted or denied.
Observe the formalities of motion practice to avoid delay and extraneous arguments about procedure.
When making a motion, consider whether the subject of the motion is crucial to your case. If not, see if
you can work out the dispute with your adversary without making a motion.
Motion practice varies considerably among counties; you must know your local rules when engaging in
motion practice.
Statutes and Rules: Motion practice is governed by SCR 63(C)(3), 131, 137; 735 ILCS 5/2-615, 619, 1005; and
by rules governing specif‌ic motions. Local court rules may amplify these rules.
Related Topics: Attacking the Pleadings, Ch 15; Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions, Ch 16;
Discovery Disputes, Ch 27; Summary Judgment, Ch 30; Default Judgment and Dismissal for Want of Prosecution, Ch 31.
Illinois Pretrial Practice 14-2
§14:01 Purpose of Motion Practice
§14:02 Motion Def‌ined
§14:03 Formal vs. Informal Motions
§14:04 Use Informal Motions to Your Advantage
§14:05 Types of Motions
§14:06 Sources of Law
§14:07 Governing Rules
§14:08 Form
§14:09 Pleadings Distinguished
§14:10 Discovery Motions: Attempt to Resolve Dispute Required
§14:11 Dealing With Uncooperative Counsel
§14:12 Build a Record of Efforts to Consult
§14:13 Strategic Considerations: Should This Motion Be Filed?
A. Formal Requirements
§14:20 Pitfalls to Avoid
§14:21 Should Be in Writing
§14:22 Format
§14:23 Caption
§14:24 Multiple Parties
§14:25 Designate Nature of Motion
§14:26 Introductory Paragraph
§14:27 Contents of Motion
§14:28 Name and Address of Person or Attorney Filing Motion
§14:29 Setting Motion for Hearing
§14:30 Brief‌ing Schedule
§14:31 Response to Motion
§14:32 Cross-Motions
B. Essential Elements of Motion: Factual Basis, Law, Notice
1. Facts: Aff‌idavits and Exhibits
§14:40 Supporting Facts
§14:41 Form of Aff‌idavit
§14:42 Material Facts Not Obtainable by Aff‌iant
§14:43 Using Exhibits
§14:44 Judicial Notice
§14:45 Objections
§14:46 Depositions
§14:47 Testing an Aff‌idavit
§14:48 Scope of 191 Aff‌idavit
§14:49 Signed by Party
2. Law: Drafting the Brief
a. Practice and Procedures
§14:60 Brief Not Required
§14:61 Courts Often Rely on Brief
§14:62 Be Clear and Concise
§14:63 Omit Boilerplate
§14:64 Page Limits
§14:65 Paper Size and Spacing
b. Summary of Argument
§14:70 Summarize Argument at the Beginning
§14:71 Relate Your Argument to the Summary
14-3 Motion Practice
c. Factual Orientation
§14:80 State Only Relevant Facts
§14:81 Don’t Refer to Facts Not Supported by Aff‌idavits
§14:82 Don’t Hide Adverse Information
d. Citing Authority
§14:90 Citation Principles
§14:91 Use Off‌icial Illinois Citations
§14:92 Attach Copies of Out-of-State and Federal Cases
e. Styles to Avoid
§14:100 Minimize Rhetoric
§14:101 Avoid Personal Attacks
§14:102 Don’t Patronize the Court
3. Notice: Serving the Motion
a. Notice Requirements
§14:110 Motion Must Be Served
§14:111 Notice of Hearing
§14:112 Time for Giving Notice of Hearing
b. Procedural Requirements
§14:120 Documents to Be Served
§14:121 Notice of Motion
§14:122 Serve Party’s Attorney
§14:123 Service on Party
§14:124 Defaulted Party
§14:125 Before Defendant’s Appearance
§14:126 Failure to Give Notice
4. Methods of Service
§14:130 Service Requirements
§14:131 Effective Date of Service
§14:132 Rescinding Consent to Facsimile Service
C. Filing the Motion Papers
§14:140 Each Party Files Own Papers
§14:141 Courtesy Copies for Judge
§14:142 Order Setting Brief‌ing Schedule
§14:143 Abandonment of a Motion
§14:144 Motions With Specif‌ic Time Limits
A. Preliminary Considerations
§14:150 Should Opposition Be Filed?
§14:151 Appearance at Initial Hearing
§14:152 Contents of Response
§14:153 Serving the Response
§14:154 Summary Judgment: Don’t Rely on Aff‌irmative Defenses
B. Cross-Motions
§14:160 Def‌inition
§14:161 Serve With Response
§14:170 Def‌inition
§14:171 Schedule
§14:172 Reply Brief Not Mandatory
§14:173 Aff‌idavit Attached in Reply

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