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A notice of motion is a legal procedural device for notifying the opposing party that he or she will be requesting a formal determination on an issue pertaining to the current case. The notice must be delivered not only to the proper court, but also served to the opposing party. Generally, it will be regarding procedural issues, such as the admissibility of evidence, but one may also seek the conclusion of a case through dismissal or summary judgment.
In order to properly submit a notice of motion, a person typically must complete the notice, file a copy with the court of record, and serve a copy to the opposing litigant. If one party to the case seeks to file a motion for determination of a particular issue, the notice serves the purpose of letting the other party know in advance of the request to settle the issue. This gives the party an opportunity to prepare an opposing argument on the matter, and when it is brought up in court, there are no surprises and the issue may be settled in an expedient manner. This is a procedural construct that stems from a notion of fairness in the adversarial process.
A notice generally has four main sections, and if necessary, may have supporting affidavits attached. The first section is a simple statement on what is going to be argued, when it will be argued, and the venue at which it will be argued. The second section is a declaration that the facts on which the motion will be based are given in good faith and based on personal knowledge. The third section outlines the arguments that will be made in support of the motion as well as the points of authority that back up the arguments to be made. The fourth and final section is a conclusion statement that restates the request to be made.
Typically, a notice of motion will decide smaller material issues that are in question, such as the admissibility of a piece of evidence or the competency of a witness to testify. One can also be used to move for the disposition of a case. Examples of this include requests for case dismissal or requests for a summary judgment.