LegalYou: Uniform Motion Calendar

Even the hallowed halls of justice need to keep things on schedule.

This is where something called a uniform motion calendar comes into play, but to understand that, we should start with what a motion actually is, and it has nothing to do with interpretive dance. A motion is when you ask the judge to make a ruling on a legal issue. Usually it must be in writing asking the judge to do something is called making a motion or moving for whatever it is you are asking for.

What an example would be if the defendant moves to dismiss a case before it goes to trial, on the grounds that the plaintive isn’t entitled to anything. Of course the judge has to decide whether these motion should be granted or denied. But with so many motions for a variety of cases, how does a judge get to all of them?

Uniform Motion Calendars.

This is a little different than your three year old puppy calendar that’s too cute to update. A Uniform Motion Calendar or UMC for short, isn’t really a calendar at all. It’s time set aside for quick hearings of motions in different cases, which the judge handles, one right after the other.

Usually the time for each hearing is limited to five or ten minutes. If your motion takes longer you must make a special appointment with the judge which is called a special set hearing. You can usually find out when your judge holds his uniform motion calendar by looking at the judge’s page on the court’s website. If not, you can always call the judges assistant to find out when it is.

Usually, you start by filing your written motion. Then you call your opponent or their attorney and find out when he or she is available for a hearing. After that you file a notice of hearing which tells everyone what day and time the hearing is so that everyone can be there.

You can file that physically at the courthouse or use e-filing to do it from your computer. LegalYou can help you with the e-filing so that you don’t have to go down to the courthouse. As with the motion you filed, a copy of the hearing notice must be sent to the other party.

Sending copies to your opponent is called service.

This can also be done by email if your opponent or his attorney has given one. Again, LegalYou can help you with serving your notice on your opponent. Be sure to arrive early on the day that you scheduled your hearing. Leave plenty of time because you may have to wait while others have their motions heard in other cases.

LegalYou can help you with preparation and any other challenges you come across representing yourself in court.

Any other questions you have regarding this or other legal matters, visit