A motion is a procedural request submitted to the court by an attorney on behalf of their client. When one party files a motion with the court, that party must also serve on the opposing party a notice of motion. The notice of motion informs the opposing party that the motion has been filed.
Motions filed before trial are known as pretrial motions. Pretrial motions include the motion to dismiss, the motion for judgment on the pleadings, and the motion for summary judgment
Motion to dismiss
A motion normally filed by the defendant in which the defendant asks the court to dismiss the case for a specified reason, such as improper service, lack of personal jurisdiction, or the plaintiff’s failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.
Motion for judgment on the pleadings
A motion that may be filed by either party in which the party asks the court to enter a judgment in their favor based on information contained in the pleadings. A judgment on the pleadings will be made only if there are no facts in dispute and the only question is how the law applies to a set of undisputed facts.
Motion for summary judgment
A motion that may be filed by either party in which the party asks the court to enter judgment in their favor without a trial. Unlike a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a motion for summary judgment can be supported by evidence outside the pleadings, such as witnesses’ affidavits, answers to interrogatories, and other evidence obtained prior to or during discovery.