Rule 105. Responsive Pleadings and Motions

Rule 105. Responsive Pleadings and Motions

(a)   Answer.  A written answer to a petition shall not be required.

(b)  Motion.

(1)  An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing or trial, shall be in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds relied upon, and shall set forth the relief or order sought.

(2) Upon the filing of the motion, the clerk shall schedule a tentative date for the motion to be heard.

(3) All motions shall include the date upon which the motion is expected to be heard and shall be served on the parties a reasonable time prior to that date.

(4) A written response to a motion shall not be required.

Advisory Commission Comments.

This rule was formerly Rule 20 of the Tennessee Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

The Commission notes that, although a written response to a pleading or motion is not required under these rules, it is not prohibited.

The Commission suggests that local rules would be an appropriate place to establish guidelines for what a “reasonable time” under this rule would be.  This may differ among various localities due to the differences in dockets and available hearing dates.  A best practice would be to consult with opposing counsel and any unrepresented parties in advance in order to set a date for hearing of any motion to ensure that all necessary persons are available.

Effective July 1, 2012, the Supreme Court adopted Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B governing motions seeking disqualification or recusal of a judge.  Section 1 of Rule 10B provides a procedural framework for determining when the judge of a court of record should not preside over the case.  In summary, Section 1 provides for the filing of a motion for disqualification or recusal and also provides for the judge’s prompt ruling on the motion.  Section 2 of Rule 10B governs appeals from the denial of such motions, and it provides that such appeals may be affected either by filing an interlocutory appeal as of right authorized by the rule or by raising the disqualification or recusal issue in an appeal as of right at the conclusion of the case.  Under Section 2.01, those two methods of appeal are “the exclusive methods for seeking appellate review of any issue concerning the trial court’s ruling on a motion filed pursuant to this Rule.”  (Emphasis added.)  As a result, “neither Tenn. R. App. P. 9 nor Tenn. R. App. P. 10 may be used to seek an interlocutory or extraordinary appeal by permission concerning the judge’s ruling on such a motion.”  Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, Explanatory Comment to Section 2.

The Explanatory Comment to Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B § 1 notes that juvenile courts are courts of record and that juvenile court judges therefore are included within Section 1 of this Rule.  Section 4 of Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, however, governs motions for disqualification of judicial officers other than a judge of a court of record (e.g. magistrates, referees, and masters).

Attorneys or self-represented litigants should consult Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B concerning the procedure for filing motions seeking the disqualification or recusal of a juvenile court judge or other judicial officer and for appealing from a denial of such a motion.