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How to write a motion to dismiss

Updated March 21, 2017

A motion to dismiss is just that: a legal motion to dismiss a case that is about to be heard before a judge. The motion essentially asks the court to dismiss a charge or a set of charges on the bases of a particular law, ruling or civil right that has been violated. A defendant can write his own motion to dismiss in lieu of hiring an attorney to do so.

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Type the legal reason for the motion to dismiss at the centre of the page. For example, "Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Charge," cites the legal reason for the motion.

Type the name of the defendant and state the legal ruling by which you are allowed to enter the motion into court. For example, "Comes now Defendant Jane Smith, pursuant to Rule 21.04 to ask the court to dismiss for failure to file information against the Defendant that complies with Rule 23.01(b)." This section must start with the phrase, "Come now."

Provide evidence or statements of fact in support of your motion. List each statement individually, but succinctly and in sequential order. For example, "1) On January 5th, 2007 Prosecutor John Jones, filed his Amended Information against the Defendant. 2) The Information fails to cite a charge. 3) The Information fails to provide sufficient details about the actions the Defendant is alleged to have committed."

List supporting arguments, which may include citations from previously heard cases that are similar to your own. State the case name (i.e., Doe v. Doe), the case number and the final ruling in the matter.

Create a Wherefore, line, which is where you explain basis on which the case is defective. For example, "Wherefore on the basis that the charges were not stated, the Defendant asks the Court to dismiss the case."

Sign and date the motion to dismiss.

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About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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