A motion to quash is a specific type of request that asks the court to render the decision of a previous lower court ruling invalid. This is often filed at the beginning of a trial or appeal as a pretrial motion. It is somewhat similar to a motion to dismiss, except it asks the court to nullify a previous ruling rather than the current filing.

Like other motions, motions to quash are part of a larger body of rules called civil procedure rules. These can differ by state and are also different for federal cases as opposed to state civil cases. Motions to quash are available in personal injury cases and many other types of civil proceedings.

Who Can File a Motion to Quash?

A motion to quash can be filed by either party. It is usually requested as a pretrial motion when the decision from a lower court ruling has a direct effect on the case at hand. Motions to quash can only be filed when:

  • The court has made a mistake in their ruling
  • A court document (like a subpoena) has been issued in a manner that was not proper or legal

An example of this is where one party had received improper service or notice of the case. This could affect the ruling of that case, and therefore one party might want to file a motion to quash to have that previous ruling thrown out.

What If a Motion to Quash Is Not Granted?

Motions to quash are sometimes denied for various reasons. For instance, a motion to quash can’t be granted if the "mistake" from the lower court was due to a lawyer’s conduct, not the court’s conduct. If that happens, the case will have to proceed with the ruling from the lower court in effect.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Procedural Rules?

In a personal injury case, the outcome of the case can often hinge upon a proper understanding of procedural rules. If you have any personal injury claims or issues, you may wish to seek out the advice of a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area. Your attorney can assist you in issues such as motions and rulings from lower courts. Also, your lawyer can help indicate the proper course of action for your case.