West Valley City, UT asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Utah

Q: I am a Pro Se Defendant a Reply and Submit For Decision have been submitted to the court by the Plaintiff. Options?

I filed my response to the Motion For Summary Judgment and as I said the Reply and Submit For Decision have been filed. Is there anything I can do at this point to stop this Summary Judgment? Can I file to have the case dismissed or respond to the reply? Can I request a hearing? Do I just simply have to wait to see what the Judge decides? Should I be preparing an appeal just in case Summary Judgment is granted and it isn't in my favor? Please, any suggestions and help would be much appreciated.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As a pro se defendant, you have a few options at this stage, but some may be limited depending on the court's rules and the specifics of your case. Here are some potential steps you can consider:

1. Motion to Strike: If the plaintiff's reply contains new evidence or arguments that were not presented in their initial motion, you may be able to file a motion to strike those portions of the reply. However, this is not always permitted, and the court may still consider the new information.

2. Sur-Reply: Some courts allow defendants to file a sur-reply, which is an additional response to the plaintiff's reply. This is not a common option and is typically only allowed if the reply raises new issues that you haven't had a chance to address. Check your local court rules or consult with the court clerk to see if this is a possibility.

3. Request a Hearing: You can file a request for a hearing on the motion for summary judgment. This allows you to present your arguments orally before the judge. However, the court is not obligated to grant a hearing and may decide the motion based on the written submissions alone.

4. Prepare for the Court's Decision: If the above options are not available or unsuccessful, you will need to wait for the judge's decision on the motion for summary judgment. The court will review the submissions from both parties and issue a written ruling.

5. Consider an Appeal: If the court grants summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, you have the right to appeal the decision. Start familiarizing yourself with the appeal process and deadlines in your jurisdiction. You may want to seek legal advice on the merits of an appeal and the procedure for filing one.

Remember, as a pro se defendant, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the court's rules and procedures. Consider visiting your court's self-help center or seeking guidance from legal aid organizations that assist self-represented litigants. While not a substitute for legal representation, these resources can provide valuable information and support.

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