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Dismissing a subject in court

Athens, TX |

I've seen where a attorney can request that a certain topic not be allowed to be brought up during a court proceeding. What is the name of that motion?

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Attorney answers 7


It is generally called a motion in limine. In a motion in limine, you ask the judge to exclude specific evidence on specific evidentiary grounds. Without motions in limine, evidence would come in and be stricken or questions would be asked and objections sustained--either of which makes a jury wonder what is going on. And in the case of striking evidence they've heard, it is very difficult to "unring" the bell. With a motion in limine, the jury never hears about it--even as a question--and you don't have to "unring" the bell.

I am licensed only in California and this response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be based on the exact facts of the particular situation, and by necessity this forum is not appropriate for discussion of specific, exact facts. Contact a lawyer for more specific advice. My answer to your question on AVVO does not create an attorney-client relationship.


It could be a motion to exclude, a motion in limine, a motion to strike, a motion for summary judgement or several others, depending on the stage of the proceeding and what it is that you are trying to exclude. I always add that you probably need a lawyer to help you unless you are in small claims court. Lawsuit procedures are too complicate to try on your own. I can recommend Jeff Weinstein in Athens.

This is not legal advice. You should always discuss the specifics of your issue in person with an attorney. Be aware that there are time limits on all claims that depend on the kind of claim, so do not delay in seeking an attorney.

John Jared Patout Jr.

John Jared Patout Jr.


I agree with Mr. Arbuckle. Motion practice in Texas is extremely complex, especially as it pertains to certain evidentiary rules. The evidence that you are attempting to preclude and/or exclude depends largely upon which stage of the proceeding you are in and whether the litigation is criminal or civil. If there is any chance that the evidence could result in harm to you or your case then you should consult an attorney.


In Ca they are called In Limine motions, brought before the case starts, and decided by the judge.


If your talking about excluding and/or precluding items at trial, you would be referring to a motion in limine.


As the other attorneys have stated, you are likely referring to Motions in Limine. In order to get these subjects, topics or information excluded from the trial, you must provide the Court with a legal basis under the Texas Rules of Evidence. The Rules of Evidence are complicated and generally require the assistance of counsel to understand and enforce. If you have not consulted with an attorney, I would highly recommend you do so before trial.


If it is a topic such as a prior lawsuit against you or an old criminal conviction which does not pertain the to subject matter of the present lawsuit or perhaps your membership in an organization which may affect the jury's impression of you, those are dealt with by Motion in Limine. If you are trying to limit what an a proposed expert can testify about, that is dealt with by Motion to Exclude.


In U.S. law, a motion in limine (Latin: "at the start") (pronounced \in-ˈlē-mi-ˌne\) is a written "request" or motion to a judge that can be used for civil or criminal proceedings, and at the State or Federal level. A frequent use is at a pre-trial hearing or during an actual trial, requesting that the judge rule that certain testimony regarding evidence or information may be included or excluded. The motion is always discussed outside the presence of the jury and is always decided by a judge. The reasons for the motions are wide and varied, but probably the most frequent use of the motion in limine in a criminal trial is to shield the jury from information concerning the defendant that could possibly be unfairly prejudicial to him if heard at trial. Some others arise under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to comply with discovery
A motion in limine is used to get a ruling to allow for the inclusion of evidence, not only to get a ruling as to whether or not evidence will be precluded from trial.

Such a motion or order is said to be "in limine", which one commentary states is Latin for "at the outset" They are made "preliminary", and it is presented for consideration of the judge (or arbitrator or hearing officer) to be decided without before the merits are reached.
Most motions in limine in federal courts are governed by the Federal Rules of Evidence (in particular, FRE 403[6]). Some others arise under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to comply with discovery

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