What is Motion to Reargue?
What is Motion to Reargue?
As the term suggests, in motion to reargue, you are asking the court to reconsider a decision that they have already made on a request. For instance, in a medical malpractice case, we may ask the defense for a particular document that is important for our case. Let us say, we ask for a hospital record, and the defense lawyer says that we cannot have it, and is not even inclined to give any reasons for the denial.
When this happens, we have to make a motion, which is a formal request to the court, explaining to the court that the defense does not want to turn over the particular documents. We must give the court legal reasoning, why the defense should turn over the said documents to us. The defense will also have the opportunity to explain to the court and provide legal support, as to why they are not providing these documents. The judge will then focus on a decision and make a ruling.
If for whatever reason, at a later point, we do not like the decision made by the court, then we come back and ask the judge on paper, to reconsider his decision. We do this because we feel that it is important for us to have these documents. If we make the request to the judge to reconsider his decision, and he again denies it, then again I have the ability to appeal to that decision. We can take that particular decision, go to the appellate division, and ask the court to reconsider and evaluate whether the judge, who had taken the decision previously was correct in reaching that particular decision. Hence, motion to reargue is simply a request to the court or judge to reconsider.
Basis for Reconsidering Earlier Decision
However, when we have no new evidence, or no new argument to make, do you think the judge is automatically going to change his mind just based upon the fact that we are asking him to reconsider. The reality is that unless we have something new to show to the judge, like a new argument or a new legal case, it would be highly unlikely for the judge to change his mind.
This is critical to understand, as the judge will not change his decision unless we offer something new and substantial that has bearing on the particular matter. If the judge feels, our new arguments are valid, and we are shedding some new light on the case, then there are much more chances of the judge reconsidering his decision and even changing it.
Motion to Reargue in a Medical Malpractice Case
In a medical malpractice case, motion to reargue could be highly strategic and appropriate, especially when the defense is not willing to share crucial medical information or records. When the judge has already made a ruling over the matter, we need to consider salient legal points carefully that will make him or her change his earlier decision. Simply initiating the motion without valid points is a waste of the court's time.