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What does it mean when a motion is filed?

Chicago, IL |
Filed under: Litigation

I am a Defendant in a case. The Plaintiffs attorney filed a " Motion Hearing" and was given a court date. Do I have to be present at this hearing?
I never received a hearing date in writing.

The hearing date is on 1/26/09. I need an answer to this question ASAP. Thank you !

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Your question indicates that plaintiff's counsel has filed a motion and now seeks a hearing. First, keep in mind that a motion is the only way to ask the Court to do anything in a case. To make something happen or keep something from happening, a motion must be brought (orally or in writing). A motion hearing is the Judge's opportunity to decide whether or not to do what he/she is being asked to do. That is - should the Court grant or deny the motion.

    I hope this information has been helpful. Feel free to follow up with our office if you have any additional questions.

  2. While this question is no longer timely, for the future, you should know that if you are representing yourself, you are held to the same standards as an attorney, which includes attendance at motions and other court dates (one of the many reasons it's better to have an attorney represent you).

    There may be situations where your appearance would not be required, but this would depend on the type of motion and the expected outcome, which again, is something an attorney would know.

    As a Defendant in a lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney to ensure your rights will be protected. Failure to abide by court deadlines and failure to show up for court dates (some of which you might not get written notice of) could jeopardize your case; it is difficult and dangerous to try to represent yourself.