State v. Allen - FAQs Relating to Motion Practice

I anticipate filing several motions.  Is there anything special that I need to do?  

Yes, three things, please:   

  • First, please identify the motion by the first and last name of the party.  

  • Second, please number each one of your motions.

  • Third, please have a special title for each of your motions.    

See Case Management Order, § III(B)(2).   As an example, motions could be identified as follows:

  • Defendant Tom Jones’s Motion No. 1: Motion to Compel Discovery

  • Defendant Tom Jones’s Motion No. 2: Motion to Suppress Statement  

The Court requests similar captioning for responses to motions.    

Why are these special requirements in place?  

The Court anticipates that several parties will file similar motions.  Without special identification of each motion in its caption, these motions can quickly become confused with others in the overall record of the proceedings.  

The Court knows that these requirements impose an additional burden in the case.  However, the Court is appreciative to counsel for their help in keeping the cases organized.  

I have filed a motion in the case.  When is it set for hearing?  

All motions filed by the last day of the month will be docketed for the last Monday of the following month.  See Case Management Order, § III(C)(1).  

If the motion needs to be heard on an expedited basis, the Court may make other arrangements upon request of counsel.    

I would like to join in a motion filed by another party.  How do I join the other motion?  

The process is simple:  just file a notice of intent to join in the other motion.  This notice should be filed by the 15th of the month following the filing of the original motion.  See Case Management Order, § III(C)(2)(a).    

Please note that your notice of joinder should include a copy of the motion that you are seeking to join.  See Case Management Order, § III(C)(2)(c).  

Does my client have to appear at a motion hearing?  

All parties have a right to be present at motion hearings and are generally expected to attend.    

However, a party may waive his or her appearance at a motion hearing by filing a waiver of appearance.  See Case Management Order, § III(C)(4).  

Why does the Court reference the particularity requirements of Tenn. R. Crim. P. 47?  

The Court’s insistence on complying with Rule 47 is not meant to be a burden to counsel.  Rather, particularity is needed to help the Court understand the background and nature of the relief requested.  

It will also help the other parties to the litigation.  For example, if a generic motion is filed, other parties may not know how to respond, if at all, or whether they should join in the motion to seek the relief requested.    

The general, but minimal, requirements are set forth in Section III(E) of the Case Management Order.   

If a motion is struck by the Court, but is refiled after a deadline has passed, will the motion be deemed untimely?  

Generally, yes, unless good cause exists to extend the deadline.  See Case Management Order, §§ III(D); III(E)(2).      

Please know that the Court is not interested in “penalizing” parties for “technical” non-compliance with the Case Management Order, and it will work with parties where appropriate.    

However, compliance with the “technical” provisions of the Case Management Order will help the parties and the Court avoid larger issues.  As such, the Court expects to adhere to the terms of the Order, consistent with the interests of justice and the needs of the case.

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