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Generic Civil Motion

Civil Motions

This guide has generic forms you can use to file a motion in a Texas civil case. Do not use this guide unless there are no specific forms that match your situation.
Descripción general

Descripción general de la guía

This guide helps you file a generic motion form in a civil case.

Please be aware that many motions have formal requirements that are not included in the generic motion form. Before using this guide, check if there are any specific guides or forms available for the motion you want to make. You are also encouraged to talk to a lawyer. 

Common questions about Civil Motions

A motion is how you ask the court to take action, allow, or deny something in an existing case. For example, you might file a motion to require mediation so that the court will tell other side to sit down and talk to you alongside a neutral professional. Or you might file a motion to allow or keep out certain evidence in your case. 

There are many types of motions, and some have specific requirements. Note that the generic form in this guide does not meet any specific requirements.

You should only use a generic motion form if you cannot find a form for the type of motion you want to file and you cannot find an attorney to represent you.

Many motions have specific legal requirements. If you don't meet those requirements then the court might not give you what you ask for. This generic motion does not meet any special requirements. It is a last-resort form to help you make a formal request to the court.

If you can find a form for your specific request to the court, use that specific form instead of the generic form in this guide. 

Good places to look for legal forms include:

Instrucciones y formularios

You can file the motion and order at the same time.

The motion is how you make a request to the court. The order is what the judge signs after they decide whether to grant your request.

Pasos de la lista de verificación

The generic motion in this guide is a last resort. It does not contain any specific language or information that some motions might need. Use this guide only if you are sure that there is not a better form available.

Good places to look for legal forms include:

Enter information at the top of the form to exactly match other court documents in your case. 

Include:

  • Cause or case number
  • Party names (including "v.", if applicable)
  • Any child names, if this is a family law case involving children (including "In the interest of...", if applicable)
  • Court or precinct number
  • Court type (District, County, or Justice Court)
  • Place number, if applicable (There will only be a place number if you are in Justice Court, and only if there is more than one Justice of the Peace in the precinct.)
  • The county in which the court is located

You will need to include a title for your motion. The title should describe what you are asking for. 

There are many types of motions. A few examples include:

  • Motion to Compel Discovery: This motion asks the court to tell the other side to give you the evidence you ask for in the discovery phase.
  • Motion for Sanctions: This motion asks the court to discipline the other side for repeated bad conduct.
  • Motion to Issue Subpoena: This motion asks the court to issue a subpoena to a witness, requiring them to testify. (Many courts have their own forms for subpoena motions.)

Enter your name. Then check the appropriate box. 

  • The party who started the lawsuit is the Plaintiff or Petitioner.
  • The party who is getting sued is the Defendant or Respondent.
  • Other types or parties are less common but do exist. For example, an Intervenor is someone who asks to join a case after it has already started. 

This is where you enter what you want from the court. Be specific and clear. 

Only ask for one thing. If you want to ask for more than one thing, file a separate motion for each request.

Sign, date, and enter your contact information.

Puede escribir su firma si incluye "/s/" antes de su nombre. Por ejemplo: "/s/ John Doe". 

Ingrese la dirección donde recibe su correo y un número de teléfono donde puede ser contactado. Si revisa su correo electrónico regularmente, ingrese también su dirección de correo electrónico.

Certificate of Service: Enter the date on which you will deliver a copy of the motion to the other party (or parties) in the case. This should be the same date that you file the Motion with the court.

Check the box next to how you will deliver a copy of the motion: mail, personal delivery, fax, or email. Then enter the relevant information next to the box you checked. For example, if you will fax the motion, enter the other party's fax number (or if they have a lawyer, the lawyer's fax number). 

Important: If the other party has a lawyer, deliver the copy to the lawyer instead of directly to the other party.

Sign and date the Certificate of Service. Puedeescribir su firma si incluye "/s/" antes de su nombre. Por ejemplo: "/s/ John Doe". 

After you have filled out and signed the Motion, it is time to file it with the court. You may file:

  • En persona. You may go to the courthouse and submit your Motion directly to the clerk. Bring extra copies for the clerk to stamp (at least two: one for you and one to send to the other party).
  • E-File. Call the court clerk to ask if they accept e-filing. Si lo hacen, puede presentarla en línea. (All District Courts, County Courts, and many Justice Courts accept e-filing.)

Some motions might require a court hearing so the judge can talk to you and then make a decision. Ask the clerk if they want you to schedule a hearing on the motion.

If you schedule a hearing, make sure to attend. If you do not show up, the court will probably rule against you and deny your request.

En la audiencia, traiga información, documentos y testigos que apoyen su parte.

Formularios requeridos

Do not file an order without having filed a motion. You can file the motion and order at the same time. 

The motion is how you make a request to the court. The order is what the judge signs after they decide whether to grant your request.

Pasos de la lista de verificación

Enter information at the top of the form to exactly match other court documents in your case. 

Include:

  • Cause or case number
  • Party names (including "v.", if applicable)
  • Any child names, if this is a family law case involving children (including "In the interest of...", if applicable)
  • Court or precinct number
  • Court type (District, County, or Justice Court)
  • Place number, if applicable (There will only be a place number if you are in Justice Court, and only if there is more than one Justice of the Peace in the precinct.)
  • The county in which the court is located

Enter the title of your motion exactly how it appears in your Generic Civil Motion form.

Check the appropriate box. (It should match what you checked in the Generic Civil Motion form.)

  • The party who started the lawsuit is the Plaintiff or Petitioner.
  • The party who is getting sued is the Defendant or Respondent.
  • Other types or parties are less common but do exist. For example, an Intervenor is someone who asks to join a case after it has already started. 

File the order at the same time you file the motion. It is only a "proposed order" until the judge completes it and signs it.

Note: Some courts may not want you to file the order. They will tell you if they don't want you to file it.

Bring a copy of the order with you to the hearing. 

Formularios requeridos

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