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How to Write a Motion – Format

how to write a pretrial statement

By Lysander on 1 January 2011

A motion consists generally of five parts:

1. The Caption and Title,

2. The Motion (what you want the court to do),

3. The Statement of Facts (either in the body of the motion or in an attached affidavit),

4. The Memorandum (the legal argument concerning how the law applies to the facts, this can also be a separate document in large, complex motions) and

5. The Conclusion, quick summary and restatement of specifically what you want the court to order.

A motion can be as simple as one page with no attachments, or it can be many pages with many attachments.

The Caption and Title

You write a motion under the standard caption, the all caps header for all formal court documents. Directly below the caption you type your title. Choose a title that describes the motion. For example:



The Motion

State plainly what you want the court to do and the rule under which you are requesting the order:

“Petitioner hereby moves the court to order respondent to answer in accordance with Tax Court Rule 71, each question in the attached Exhibit A, Petitioner’s First Interrogatories.”

“Petitioner moves the court for a continuance in accordance with Tax Court Rule 133.”

Statement of Facts

The next section begins immediately after the motion. It can be titled “FACTS”, or “AFFIDAVIT” or “DECLARATION” and is sometimes begins with the words, “In support I state the following facts:” You then state the facts on which the motion is based. You can make your statement of facts in the body of the motion or separately as an attachment called an affidavit. A separate affidavit would usually be justified if you have a long list of facts on which your motion depends.

Whichever way you choose to present them, the section consists of a listing of separately lettered or numbered statements of fact that are relevant to the situation. (FACTS go here, not law or argument)  List them as clearly and succinctly as possible. These must be facts to which you can testify from personal knowledge in court. The facts, whether via affidavit or in the motion, must be signed under penalty of perjury.

For example:


1. On May 1, 2010 petitioner served his First Formal Interrogatories on Respondent by certified mail.

2. More than 30 days have passed since service.

3. Respondent has failed to respond.

Include all the facts that have a bearing on the motion, but stay focused on exactly what you want the court to do and avoid listing facts not relevant to the motion you are making. Stay focused.

Category: Forex

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