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If I'm filing a motion which includes a page called "Certificate of Service", do I need to complete that page and have it notarized before going to court? I ask because it doesn't seem like there would be a court case number to associate with the certificate if the motion hasn't yet been filed.

Hopefully that makes sense what I'm asking. :) If not, I can provide additional details.

Thank you!

  • What's the motion? Usually you file a motion to ask a judge to take some action in an existing case. And you don't usually bring the certificate of service to court, rather you file it with the motion. The certificate tells the court that the other party knows about the motion. The other party has some time period to respond to the motion. After the motion is filed and the response is filed, you go to court for a hearing on the motions. Now, please note the usually that I started with. However, if this is a complaint you're filing, that's a different matter and u won't have a case number. – jqning Dec 1 '16 at 3:18
  • It's for a change of venue to move a case from one county to another county (within the same state) due to relocating. I was wondering if it had to be completed before filing along with the motion, or if that was done afterwards once there was a court hearing. – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 3:23
  • You would normally have to complete and file the certificate of service with the motion. If you don't have the case number, you can call the clerk of the court and ask for it. It may not have been assigned a case number at the time that the document was given to you but it almost certainly has a case number now. – ohwilleke Dec 1 '16 at 3:29
  • Thank you @ohwilleke for your help! I'm the one who's going to file the motion, so I don't as of yet have a case #. That's where my confusion lies...do I file the motion with court and then send notification to the other party or do I need to send notification to the other party, have the certificate of service notarized, and then file both the motion and certificate together? I apologize if what I'm asking seems confusing or makes no sense! :) – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 5:30
  • Have the certificate notarized, make a copy of the signed motion and notarized certificate, and then make sure to actually mail the motion with a copy of the signed certificate on the day that you said that you did to the notary. – ohwilleke Dec 1 '16 at 5:38
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A certificate of service is the evidence that you have served the other party with the court documents - you can't do this before filing the documents with the court so, no, you complete it afterwards.

  • Ok, so if I'm interpreting correctly, I would file the motion with the court, and then need to mail (either myself using certified mail or through the sherriff's office) a copy of the motion that I've filed. I'm basically trying to figure out which paperwork to turn in first, etc. – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 3:25
  • When you serve the copy on the other party, whoever does the service will give you the certificate. File this certificate with the motion. – jqning Dec 1 '16 at 3:37
  • I sincerely appreciate you & @ohwilleke advice! Think I may still be confused. Please pardon my ignorance! I've not yet filed motion w the court. I would like file a change in venue to move case from one county to another. There is no case # as of yet; I'm assuming there wouldn't until motion is filed w court system. At which point, do I need to have certificate of service notarized & signed when I file motion w court? – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 5:06
  • If so, do I need send other party a copy of motion I'm going file prior to filing w court? What I'm trying ask, & please forgive my ignorance, do I need to notify other party 1st (i.e., having notarized certificate indicating other party has been officially informed) to include with my motion to file or do I file the motion, then notify the other party, & bring the notarized certificate to court at the day/time of the case? ...please know I'm not trying to be devious in any manner; – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 5:06
  • I'm confused by all of this, & when asking anyone w/in court system I'm told they can't provide legal advice, which I completely understand due liability factors. But not having familiarity w expected process has left me bit in the dark. I'm simply trying to understand the process since I cannot afford a lawyer, while the other party can afford one. I just want to follow procedure and do this right by the book so to speak. – AmyW Dec 1 '16 at 5:08

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