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Motion To Strike (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What is Motion To Strike?

What’s important to know about it?

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Let me explain to you what a Motion To Strike is and why it matters!

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What Is Motion To Strike

A motion to strike is a type of motion that a party in court can file in the United States asking the court to have all or part of the other party’s plea removed from the court record.

In other words, the party filing the motion to strike asks the court to “strike out” certain parts of the other party’s pleadings.

Typically, a defendant in a lawsuit will file a motion to strike to ask that the plaintiff remove certain parts of their pleadings.

A plaintiff can also file a motion to strike against the defendant’s pleadings, particularly in the context of the defendant’s answer to the plaintiff’s complaint or in a cross-complaint.

The motion to strike can also be used to have a judge remove a piece of evidence from the court record as well.

Every jurisdiction will have rules governing the court procedure a party must observe to successfully strike all or parts of the other party’s pleadings.

Keep reading as I will further break down the meaning of a motion to strike and tell you why it’s done.

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Why Is A Motion To Strike Important

A motion to strike can be an important weapon in a trial lawyer’s arsenal.

When this type of motion is presented strategically to the court and parts of the other party’s pleadings are stricken, the moving party can destabilize the other party and get the upper hand.

In the United States, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that a party can file a motion to strike against another party if the other party’s pleadings contain redundant material, immaterial elements, impertinent aspects, or even scandalous content.

The main objective in filing a motion to strike is to have some or part of the other party’s pleadings removed from the court record.

If the other party had based its litigation strategy largely on certain elements that are stricken from the court record, the moving party would achieve a significant advantage.

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How Does Motion To Strike Work

A motion to strike is a request made either in writing or orally in court to have a piece of evidence, witness statement, or pleadings removed from the court record.

Most of the time, the motion to strike is presented to the court in writing.

In the motion, the moving party must present the reasons why it believes that the other party’s evidence or pleading must be removed.

If the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures apply, the moving party must indicate why the pleading is redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous.

If the judge agrees with the moving party, then the pleadings will be removed from the court record.

Otherwise, the court will reject the motion and keep the pleadings or evidence.

In some cases, the motion to strike can be presented orally before the judge.

Typically this happens when a moving party wishes to have a statement made by the witness removed from the record of the court.

If the court accepts to remove a piece of the witness testimony, the judge or jury will then have to ignore that statement when making a decision.

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Motion To Strike vs Motion To Dismiss

What is the difference between a motion to strike and a motion to dismiss?

A “motion to strike” is a type of motion where a party to a legal proceeding asks the court to have a piece or all of the other party’s pleading removed from the court record.

The motion to strike can also be used to have a piece of evidence removed or statements made by a witness.

On the other hand, a motion to dismiss is a type of motion where the moving party asks the court to entirely dismiss or reject the other party’s pleadings.

The court can reject the other party’s pleading with or without prejudice, maintain the other party’s pleadings, or make modifications to them.

A party’s objective in filing a motion to dismiss is to have the court reject a party’s pleadings, whereas a motion to strike is to keep the pleading but remove all or parts of its content.

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Motion To Strike Example

Let’s look at an example of how the motion to strike can be used in the context of a lawsuit.

Let’s assume that a plaintiff files a motion to seek damages against the defendant for negligence.

In the context of the lawsuit, the plaintiff files evidence in court that the defendant believes is protected by client-attorney privilege.

The defendant can file a motion to strike to have the judge remove that piece of evidence from the court record until the client-attorney privilege aspect is resolved.

Another way a motion to strike can be used is to have a party ask the judge to remove part or all of the other party’s pleadings.

If the court believes that a part of the pleadings (or even the whole thing) is immaterial, redundant, impertinent, or scandalous, the court will have that pleading removed from the court.

This means that a judge or jury looking at the pleadings will specifically ignore the pleadings that have been stricken.

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Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does a motion to strike mean?

In a nutshell, a “motion to strike” is a type of motion where a party requests that the court “strike” or “remove” all or part of the other party’s pleadings or evidence from the record of the court.

In essence, a motion to strike is a formal request made by one party to have the judge eliminate all or part of the other party’s pleadings or remove a piece of evidence or witness statement from the court.

Parties looking to file this type of motion in court should carefully assess the pros and cons of such a request.

It’s best to consult with a trial attorney to assess whether you should file a motion to strike and how it should be presented.

Now that you know what a motion to strike means and how it works, good luck with your research!

Motion to quash
Motion for reconsideration
Motion to amend
Cross-complaint meaning
Legal opinion 
Cause of action 
Misjoinder of parties 
Legal sufficiency 
Motion to dismiss
Author

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!

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