Winning your civil case against another party, and being awarded the financial settlement you deserve by the courts is a good feeling. It is also a good feeling to be exonerated by the court from financial responsibility when someone brings a case against you. While persuading the judge to your side, and getting a judgment in your favor by the court, is a relief, though, the case isn’t necessarily over as soon as that judgment is rendered. Either party has the legal right to make a post-judgment motion to the court, which can hold up payment of a judgment, or be used to overturn the judge’s decision.
Types of post-judgment motions
Post-judgment motions are usually entered in an effort to change a court’s ruling, which comes in three forms:
- Motion to vacate
- Motion to set aside
- Motion for a new trial
While these three motions are similar in what they accomplish, they are based on different issues that might arise during the court process.
Motion to vacate
A motion to vacate may be entered only when the judgment conflicts with the judge’s ruling. This ruling will be spelled out in the “Statement of Decision” by the judge. For example, if the “Statement of Decision” says the defendant did no wrong, but the judgment still requires the defendant to pay money to the plaintiff, that would be a conflict, and a reason to vacate the judgment.
Motion to set-aside
A motion to set aside may be entered when a party involved in a case does not understand the legal consequences of their behavior. A minor, for instance, is less likely to be held financially accountable for their actions than an adult. Even if the court finds the minor culpable, the judgment may be set aside.
Motion for a new trial
Unlike the motion to vacate or to set-aside, a motion for a new trial does not accept the court’s ruling as factual or fair. If one party believes the court’s ruling is wrong, they can make a motion for a new trial. Common reasons one might request a new trial is if he or she believes there was not enough evidence to lead the judge to award a judgment, if new evidence has been found, or if they believe there is a conflict with the judge that prevented a fair trial.
Post-judgment motion time limit
The good news for those who were happy with the court’s verdict is that there is a time limit to make post-judgment motions, and that time limit is not very long. Under normal circumstances, either the plaintiff or the defendant has only five days to make a motion once the judgment is entered into the court records, and the “Notice of Entry” is sent to the two parties involved.
San Jose post-judgment motion attorney
If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome of a civil case, you do not have to accept it. Attorney Tracie T. Kogura can help you file a post-judgment motion with the courts to get you a more desired outcome.