We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Motion to Enforce?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The motion to enforce is a legal filing that requests a court to order someone to comply with a previous court ruling. This is a common motion and arises as a potential option when people or entities aren’t honoring the previous judgment of a court. It would be ideal if people or businesses would simply follow the guidelines a court has already established for specific behaviors, but not all do so, and when this is this the case, people may request that the court intervene and enforce an original judgment. This request could lead to additional court proceedings or the court taking further action to get a person or business to honor a ruling.

One common place that the motion to enforce is filed is in family court. Parents who are non-compliant with custody orders or who may not be paying child support, though the latter may fall under different rules, could be served with a motion to enforce by the other parent. This is only one potential option.

Another filing that is common is motion of contempt, which asserts the person who isn’t cooperating is in contempt of a court ruling on the matter. Either filing may require additional appearances in court or more participation in mediation, but sometimes a judge merely reasserts the initial ruling and a person is given a short period of time to respond to it or comply with it. Refusal to comply might lead to harsher measures, such as removal of custody or garnering of wages, depending on the type of ruling.

Family court is not the only venue for filing this type of motion. A number of civil suits end in judgments that are not honored by one of the parties in the suit. When the judgment is ignored, the injured party may reasonably file a motion to enforce to gain compliance from the person or business that isn’t acting as the court ruled. Sometimes filing a motion of contempt is another option, but most people are interested in compelling the opposition in a suit to behave as was ordered by the court.

Since the motion to enforce may involve additional court time, it’s possible that a judgment could be reversed with a new ruling. Sometimes a person or entity finds it literally can’t do what a court has asked, and may be able to present additional evidence to prove this. In most cases, though, the motion to enforce doesn’t work in the non-compliant party’s favor, and those who continue to ignore court judgments may face additional penalties.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a MyLawQuestions contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a MyLawQuestions contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.