Uniform Motion Calendar

Uniform Motion Calendar


Even the hallowed
halls of justice need to keep things on schedule. This is where something
called a uniform motion calendar comes into play. But to understand
that, we should start with what a motion actually is. And it has nothing to do
with interpretive dance. Sorry. A motion is when you
ask the judge to make a ruling on a legal issue. Usually, it must be in writing. Asking the judge to do something
is called making a motion, or moving, for whatever
it is you are asking for. An example would be
if the defendant moves to dismiss a case
before it goes to trial, on the grounds that the
plaintiff isn’t entitled to anything. Of course, the judge has to
decide whether these motions should be granted or denied. But with so many motions
for a variety of cases, how does a judge
get to all of them? Uniform motion calendars. This is a little different
than your three-year-old puppy calendar that’s
too cute to update. A uniform motion calendar,
or UMC for short, isn’t really a calendar all. Its time set aside
for quick hearings of motions in different
cases, which the judge handles one right after the other. Usually, the time
for each hearing is limited to 5 or 10 minutes. If your motion takes longer, you
must make a special appointment with the judge, which is
called a special set hearing. You can usually find out
when your judge holds his uniform motion calendar
by looking at the judge’s page on the court’s website. If not, you can always
call the judge’s assistant to find out when it is. Usually, you start by
filing your written motion. Then, you call your
opponent or their attorney, and find out when he or she
is available for a hearing. After that, you file
a notice of hearing, which tells everyone what
day and time the hearing is so that everyone
can be there. You can file that physically
at the courthouse, or use e-filing to do
it from your computer. LegalYou can help you with
e-filing so that you don’t have to go down to the courthouse. As with the motion you filed,
a copy of the hearing notice must be sent to the other party. Sending copies to your
opponent is called service. This can also be done by
email, if your opponent or his attorney has given one. Again, LegalYou can help you
with serving your notice on your opponent. Be sure to arrive
early on the day that you’ve scheduled
your hearing. Leave plenty of time, because you may have to wait
while others have their motions heard in other cases. LegalYou can help
you with preparation and any other challenges you come across representing
yourself in court.

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