Rule 47. Motions

Rule 47. Motions

(a) In General. A party applying to the court for an order shall do so by motion.

(b) Form of Motion. A motion–except one made during a trial or hearing–shall be in writing unless the court permits it to be made orally.

(c) Content of Motion. A motion shall state:

(1) with particularity the grounds on which it is made; and

(2) the relief or order sought.

(d) Affidavit. A motion may be supported by affidavit.

Advisory Commission Comments.

The lack of particularity in criminal motions, especially those filed pretrial, has been a source of complaint by appellate courts which have imposed a practical requirement of some specificity. See State v. Davidson, 606 S.W.2d 293 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1980). Rule 47(c)(1) therefore adds the word “particularity” to the required content of any motion. This is essentially the requirement of motions in civil practice. See Rule 7.02(1), Tenn. R. Civ. P.

Advisory Commission Comments [2012].

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 effected 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.

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 judge and for appealing from a denial of such a motion.


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