A motion for reconsideration or motion to reconsider is a legal filing which someone can make to ask a court to review a decision and consider issuing a new decision in light of the review. A motion for reconsideration is not an appeal; filing an appeal is a more involved process. The success rate of this type of motion is quite variable, depending on the specifics of the case, the judge, and the legal norms in the region where the case was tried.
There are some restrictions on this type of motion. The motion must be filed within 20 days of the contested ruling or filing, and in some cases the limit may be only 10 days. In addition, it must be filed with the judge responsible for the issue for which reconsideration is being requested. The motion is designed to allow people a chance to quickly correct a legal decision, not to launch a complex appeal process.
When a motion for consideration is filed, the person doing the filing must provide supporting material to argue in defense of the motion. People can't simply ask a judge to reconsider, they must demonstrate that the judge made a decision without all the facts or that a decision appears to have been wanton or malicious in nature. One reason to file such a motion might be the discovery of new evidence after a decision was made, or a revelation that the judge did not have access to all the evidence.
If a judge grants the motion, the matter will be reconsidered and a new judgment will be issued. Once the reconsideration is over, there are other options for contesting a judgment which is believed to be unfair or unreasonable, including filing an appeal. The options available depend on the court where the case was tried and the nature of the case, and people should be aware that continuing to pursue a case can be a costly choice.
Filing legal motions requires filling out paperwork appropriately. It can be helpful to have a motion for reconsideration prepared by a lawyer or paralegal who can ensure that the document is in order. In addition, a lawyer can provide advice about how to frame the motion and can offer opinions on other legal options which could be pursued instead of or in addition to filing a motion for reconsideration, given the circumstances of the case and the court.