Pretrial motions can answer many of the most pressing questions in your case. Your lawyer can petition the court to rule on a specific issue by filing a motion on your behalf. A dispositive motion is one that has the potential to put an end to the litigation and the dispute before a trial even begins. A non-dispositive motion is one that seeks a decision only on an incidental issue that arises throughout the course of the lawsuit. Prior to trial, your personal injury case may be decided by a move to dismiss or exclude certain evidence.
Dispositive motions and resolving your case before going to trial are the main goals of this section.
It is not uncommon for a request to dismiss to be filed even before the parties have undertaken discovery in the course of a lawsuit. The complaint and any documents to the complaint are the topic of the motion, which is brought by the defendant if he or she believes that the complaint is legally ineffective. The court must consider the complaint’s facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff when evaluating a motion to dismiss.
One or more of the following defects in the law frequently underpins a move to dismiss, according to Norris Injury Lawyers Fultondale AL:
The court does not have the authority to rule on the case at hand. Probate courts in some jurisdictions, for example, may be required by state law to settle specific cases, such as a dispute over how a will should be read.
The court does not have the authority to act on behalf of the defendant in this case because it lacks personal jurisdiction. If you don’t meet the “minimal contact” requirements for the jurisdiction of the court, you’re out of luck. There is a good case to be made that the Vermont court does not have jurisdiction over a Florida resident who is being sued in Vermont for an automobile accident at Yellowstone National Park, even though you live in Florida.
There was an error in the choice of venue. The statutes of each state specify the jurisdictional boundaries within which a lawsuit may be filed against you. A lawsuit should only take place in one of these locations if you are being sued. Even if a court has personal jurisdiction over you, a venue may still be deemed illegal. In many cases, a court will order the case to be transferred, rather than dismissing it.
Technical defects in the summons (which are rare) or improper service of the summons and complaint may lead to the dismissal of your case if you are not properly served (which is more common). If you believe you have been served in an improper manner, tell your lawyer right away so that he or she can determine whether or not the case should be dismissed as a result.
Absence of an asserted injury to persons or property for which relief may be granted Lawyers can sometimes conclude from a client’s complaints that there is no legal claim for relief. Suppose the complaint claims that you were negligent and caused harm to the complainant. You may not be obligated to protect the plaintiff under the circumstances of the complaint, according to the law. You can’t be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries if you don’t have any legal responsibility for them.