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Motion for New Trial

What is a motion for new trial?

A new trial may be granted to one or all parties when certain issues or reasons arise for which new trials are authorized by law or a rule of court. When a motion for a new trial is filed, the court may accept and review additional evidence and testimony. Based on this, the court may amend the findings of the court. They may also arrive upon a new conclusion or finding and accordingly pass a new judgment. In order to file a motion for a new trial, it should be made in writing, mentioning the reasons or basis for the motion. Changes may be incorporated prior to the court hearing. Other supporting documents would need to be included with the motion to substantiate the request. After the motion is submitted and if the motion is granted the court will set a date for a new trial. It should be noted a motion for a new trial does not nullify or stop the appellate process. This implies that, in the eventuality of the motion for a new trial being denied, a person can still file a notice of appeal on the old ruling within the prescribed period.

For what reasons and how long after a ruling can one file a motion for a new trial in Arizona?

A motion for a new trial should be filed usually within fifteen days after the judgment. As per the Rule 83 of Arizona Family Court Matters the grounds for granting a motion for new trial are as follows:
  • Irregularity in the court proceedings, wrongdoing, or unfair trial
  • Misdemeanor of a party
  • Accident or surprising events which could not have been predicted or prevented proactively
  • Newly discovered evidence which was elusive before the trial despite due diligence or not produced at the trial
  • Errors of law
  • Ruling, judgment, or decision not justified by the evidence or opposing to the law

I have discovered new evidence which was not considered by the district court during the trial. I have already appealed this decision. How can I introduce the new evidence in court?

An appeal is a process that is based on any errors made in the trial and is not linked to evidence. Hence new evidence cannot be introduced when the case is in appeal. If you lose the appeal plea, you can then file a motion for a new trial. Another option would be to drop the appeal and make a request instead for a new trial based on the new evidence. Dropping an appeal is a risky plan since it cannot be reinstated if the motion for a new trial is denied. Unless the evidence at hand is compelling enough to affect the entire case, it may be wiser to wait till the appeal decision is made. This approach would allow you to file a motion for a new trial if you lose the appeal and if you win, the new evidence would not be required. It is very rare to win a motion for a new trial unless you can prove the new evidence was impossible to have been discovered until after the trial.

Is there a possibility to have the jury’s verdict on my case re-considered?

There are ways to have the jury’s verdict reassessed. The judge could use his/her discretion and if the verdict of the jury is contradicting the evidence, it could be rejected. However the chances of a judge overruling a jury’s verdict are very low. The other options would be to file an appeal in a higher appellate court or file a motion for a new trial. The basis for a new trial would be if there were procedural errors which occurred during the trial or due to the incompetence of the lawyer. You would need to provide proof that the lawyer’s substandard job on your case led to you losing the case and majority of other lawyers would have handled the case differently.

I had applied for a motion for new trial which has been granted. How can I add an additional pleading to my petition?

A motion for a new trial implies you need to attend the hearing directly without any further pleading or new discoveries. In order to make amends or file an amended complaint, you need to make a motion for court’s leave. If you require more information to process your case, you need to include a request for the particular information in your motion to amend the complaint. This is also for the reason that once a motion for new trial is granted, the parties involved cannot engage in additional discovery without express permission from the court to do so.

Motion for a new trial, as the name suggests, is a request for a new trial. If granted, it is a second chance to present evidence old and new, and to seek justice. In order for it to be granted the court needs to be convinced of the need for a new trial is based on significant and valid reasons. To understand whether you should file a motion for a new trial or an appeal, consulting an Expert could reveal the most suitable course of action.
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