I've been contemplating the filing a motion to expunge in multiple cases that I'm dealing with. However, I'm under the presumption that it might be necessary for me to file a motion to re-open any cases that have been closed because there might be the argument that all closed cases require a motion to re-open before the filing of any one or more other motions in any closed case. That appears to me to be a matter of tradition susceptible to the fallacy of tradition, especially if I can assert my authority to make the argument that the re-opening of a legal case is irrelevant, such that the matter of concern is simply the expungement of the case and the motion being heard on is expungement rather than a re-opening making the requirement of a motion to re-open trivial. My suspicion is that a motion to re-open isn't necessary but instead what would be more necessary is me having the ability to assert through my authority the argument that the case should be expunged.

Why is it tradition that a motion to re-open a case occur before filing any other motion in said case?

The research that I've done to answer this question has been thinking about the question along with searching on Google for any answers that might exist. My thinking about the matter has brought upon me the view that the tradition exists because no one has had the authority to assert some kind of motion, such as expungement, otherwise without having first filed a motion to re-open.

  • 2
    The fine details of court procedure at this level varies greatly from one court system to another. There is no general answer and no deep guiding legal principle to tell you why one jurisdiction does it one way and another jurisdiction does it another way. It is simply a matter of historical accident that has to be resolved on a court system by court system basis by investigating local practice (sometimes the court clerk will tell you).
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 2 at 17:38
  • Rules of court are not traditions.
    – Trish
    Nov 3 at 12:41
  • 1
    @Trish Lots of details of the way that courts operate are below the level of formal rules of court. For example, there is no rule of court that says that you stand up when the judge walks into the courtroom until told to sit down. The question of whether a motion to reopen is necessary or an implied by a substantive motion raising a new issue is of that nature. The way that similar issues are handled at that sub-formal rule level, for example, between CA, WY, CO, UT, NY, and OH varies considerably.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 3 at 23:17
  • I can understand the needs details or clarity VTCs, but how is this an RSLA?
    – Someone
    Nov 18 at 20:45


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