Navigational bar, Family Law Self-Help Center, with photo of a totem pole Return to the Family Law Home page Family Law Forms & Instructions Frequently Asked Questions Glossary of Family Law Terms Alaska Court System website Feedback form
 

Motions: Requesting an Order from the Court; Opposing a Motion

View videos:

What is a motion?

A motion is the paper you must file to ask a judge to make a ruling or take some other action. A motion is the first step in the three-step process called motion practice, which is controlled by Civil Rule 77.

What is motion practice?

Motion practice is the three-step process to ask the judge to order something in the case. First, the moving party, i.e. the person who is asking for a court order, files a motion, asking the court to order something specific. Second, the other party files a response or opposition. Third, the moving party can reply to the opposition.

Summary of Motion Practice
Step #
Who files?
What form?
When?
1
The moving party (the person who needs a court order) Motion

- Affidavit
- Proposed Order

File when you need a court order
2
The opposing party Opposition

- Affidavit
- Proposed Order

These are due 13 days after the motion was mailed, or 10 days if it was hand delivered
3
The moving party Reply This is due 8 days after the Opposition was mailed, or 5 days if it was hand delivered

Return to top

How do I file a motion?

View video: Motions Part 1: How to Ask the Court For Something Play Motions Part 1: How to ask the court for something Video

To file a motion you must fill out three forms:

1. Motion, SHC-1300 Word | PDF

This form is like a cover page and tells the judge what you want and why you want it in a sentence or two. It also tells the judge:

2. Affidavit & Memorandum, SHC-1301 Word | PDF

This form is where you tell the judge the whole story and why you should get what you say you want. Be sure to:

Since this is a sworn statement, you must sign it in front of a notary, which includes court clerks and postal officials. You will need picture I.D. when you sign.

Sometimes, depending on what you are asking for, you may use a specialized affidavit such as the Best Interests Affidavit, SHC-1125 (Word | PDF), which is designed for use as part of a Motion for Custody.

3. Order on Motion, SHC-1302 Word | PDF

The order is the document you are asking the judge to sign. It tells anyone who reads it exactly what the judge has ordered in very simple, clear terms. Do NOT sign and date the proposed order.  If the judge agrees with your Motion, he/she may sign your proposed order, or may change it or sign a different order.

These forms can also be found in the Generic Motion Packet, SHC-PAC6 (this includes forms for both the party who wants to file a motion and the party who wants to respond or oppose a motion).

After you fill out the forms, make 2 copies. Keep 1 copy for your records. Mail or hand-deliver a copy to the opposing party (or their lawyer if represented). Fill out the certificate of service on the bottom of the original Motion, stating how you provided the opposing party with a copy. File the original at the courthouse.

Return to top

How do I serve the motion on the other party?

Send or hand deliver a copy of all these documents to the other person, or lawyer if they have one. The law says the other person must have a chance to tell their side of the story. Send your copies by first class mail or deliver them in person. Please read the information about serving the opposing party.

The other person has 13 days from the time you mailed the motion to tell the judge his/her side. If you hand delivered the motion, the other side has 10 days to respond. He or she will file her response by filing an Opposition, Affidavit & Memorandum and an Order.

Return to top

How do I oppose a motion?

View video: Motions Part 2: How to File an Opposition to a Motion Play Motions Part 2: How to respond to the other side’s motion   Video

If you were served with a motion, you have the right to respond and tell the judge whether you agree or disagree with the moving party's request. You are called the non-moving party. You will also fill out three forms:

1. Opposition, SHC-1303 Word | PDF

This form is like a cover page and tells the judge what you disagree with, what you want and why in a sentence or two. It also tells the judge:

2. Affidavit & Memorandum, SHC-1301 Word | PDF

This form is where you tell the judge the details of why you disagree and what you want. Be sure to:

Since this is a sworn statement, you must sign it in front of a notary, which includes court clerks or postal officials. You will need picture I.D. when you sign.

3. Order on Opposition, SHC-1304 Word | PDF

The order is the document you are asking the judge to sign. It tells anyone who reads it exactly what the judge has ordered in very simple, clear terms. Do NOT sign and date the proposed order.  If the judge agrees with your Opposition, he/she may sign your proposed order, change it or sign a different order. If you oppose everything about the motion, your order will say something like, "motion denied."

These forms can also be found in the Generic Motion Packet, SHC-PAC6 (this includes forms for both the party who wants to file a motion and the party who wants to respond or oppose a motion).

You have 13 days from the time the motion was mailed to you, or 10 days from the time the motion was hand delivered to you, to file your opposition.

Once you have filled out the forms, along with the certificate of service, you must file them at the courthouse.

Return to top

How do I serve the opposition on the other party?

You must send or hand deliver a copy of all these documents to the other person, or their lawyer if they have one. The law says the other person must have a chance to tell their side of the story. After you fill out the forms, make 2 copies. Keep 1 copy for your records. Mail or hand-deliver a copy to the opposing party (or their lawyer if represented). Fill out the certificate of service on the bottom of the original Opposition, stating how you provided the opposing party with a copy. File the original at the courthouse.

Please read the information about serving the opposing party.

The moving party has 8 days to reply to your opposition if you mailed it. If you hand-delivered the opposition, then they only have 5 days. Then the paperwork will go to the judge, who will make the decision. If the judge thinks a hearing is needed, you will receive a notice telling you when and where to appear.

Return to top

How do I reply to an opposition?

View video: Motions Part 3: Preparing a Reply Play Motions Part 3: Preparing a Reply  Video

If you filed the motion, you can reply to the opposition if you think it is necessary. But, it is not required. If you decide to reply, you must file it within 8 days of when the opposition was mailed to you. If it was hand delivered, you have 5 days to reply. You must serve the opposing party with a copy of the reply and fill out the certificate of service stating how you served the other party. Please read the information about serving the opposing party.

Return to top

How do I calculate the filing deadlines?

View video: Motions Part 4: Mailings and Deadlines Play Motions Part 4: Mailings and Deadlines  Video

For motions and opposition, count every day except the first day. If you land on a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, go to the next business day. For replies, do not count the first day, and then count only business days. See Civil Rule 6(a).

Return to Top

Can I file by mail?

View video: Filing Documents by Mail Play Filing Documents by Mail Video

Yes, you can mail your motion papers to the court for filing by 1st class US mail. You need to include all of the forms you have filled out, signed and had notarized where indicated.

Make 2 copies of all papers before you mail the originals to the court. Keep 1 copy for your records. You will need 1 copy to serve the defendant.

Return to top

Will there be a hearing on the motion?

If either party wants a hearing on the motion, that party must file a motion for a hearing within 5 days after the opposition or reply was filed. Sometimes even if the parties do not ask for a hearing, the judge may schedule one to better understand the issues. If there will be a hearing, the court will send a Notice of Hearing that includes the date, time and location.

Return to top

When will the judge decide my motion?

Generally, the motion paperwork will not be sent to the judge's chambers until after the entire motion practice cycle has run - usually about 3 weeks.

If a hearing is scheduled, there will be no decision until after the hearing, and it may take many weeks to get one scheduled.

If there is no hearing, the judge will make a decision in due course. Usually, this is within a few weeks, but it could take months. There are many factors affecting the time, such as the complexities of your motion, other motions that may be pending in your case, and the judge's overall schedule.

Return to top

When can I file a motion?

When you need a court order.

Return to top

What if I need an order before my final hearing or before receiving a judgment?

If you need the judge to decide on a specific issue prior to your final hearing or before you receive a judgment, you will need to make the request to the judge by filing a Motion for Interim Orders, along with an affidavit and a proposed order.

If you have children, you can file a:

If you do not have children, you can file a:

Return to top

How do I respond to a motion for interim orders?

If you receive a motion for interim orders for custody, child support or something else, you have 13 days from the date it was mailed to file a response, or 10 days if you received the motion by hand delivery. You can respond by filing the same 3 forms used to oppose any other motion: the Opposition, Affidavit & Memorandum, and Order on Opposition.

Return to top

What if there is an emergency?

If you feel that you have an emergency that justifies speeding up the motion process, you may consider filing an additional motion asking for expedited consideration of your main motion. Civil Rule 77(g) is the special court rule controlling these requests. Requests for expedited consideration are rarely granted, and should only be used in a real emergency. You may call the Family Law Self-Help Center Helpline for more information and the special form, or you may consult with an attorney. There are special requirements to serve a motion for expedited consideration.

Return to top

Forms

A complete set of general forms is provided in

There are a number of specialized motions available, such as:

For more information or to request a form, please call the Self-Help Center Helpline.

Return to top

Examples

The following examples may be helpful:

Sample Motion for Return of Boat Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

Sample Affidavit & Memorandum in Support of Motion for Return of Boat Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

Sample Order for Return of Boat Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

Return to top


Rev. 6 January 2014
© Alaska Court System

www.courts.alaska.gov
webmaster@akcourts.us

Adobe Acrobat PDF logo You'll need to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view and print documents with this symbol. If you are using a screen reader, get support and information at the Adobe Access website.