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When to File a Motion for Reconsideration: A Guide for Michigan Residents


You likely just attended a hearing, and it did not go very well.  Maybe your attorney or the judge told you that you are allowed to file a Motion for Reconsideration, and frankly, the concept of the judge reconsidering the bad decision sounds like a good option.  But is it? This article delves into the essentials of a Motion for Reconsideration, guiding you on when it’s appropriate to file one, and when it might not be the best course of action.

What is a Motion for Reconsideration in Michigan?

A Motion for Reconsideration in Michigan, governed by Michigan Court Rule 2.119(F), is a legal recourse available when a “palpable error” has significantly influenced the judge’s decision and the outcome of the hearing or trial.

Timeline for Filing a Motion for Reconsideration

In Michigan, it’s crucial to file and serve the Motion for Reconsideration within 21 days of the order’s entry.

When is Filing a Motion for Reconsideration Beneficial?

A Motion for Reconsideration is warranted when there is a clear and undeniable error, often referred to as a “palpable error”. For instance, if the judge applied an incorrect court rule or the valuation of an asset was inaccurately stated in the order.

When Not to File a Motion for Reconsideration

Avoid filing a Motion for Reconsideration if your intention is merely to seek a reconsideration of the judge’s decision, essentially asking for a trial “redo”. Michigan Court Rules explicitly prohibit the rehashing of previously addressed issues.

Disadvantages of Filing a Motion for Reconsideration

If you are dissatisfied with multiple aspects of the judge’s order and are contemplating an appeal, filing a Motion for Reconsideration may not be the most strategic move. This motion primarily addresses technical errors and might not bolster your chances on appeal. Consult our appellate attorneys for guidance on navigating the Court of Appeals process. Keep in mind that filing a frivolous or rule-violating motion may lead to sanctions imposed by the judge.

Timeline for Judge’s Decision on a Motion for Reconsideration

Michigan Court Rule 2.119(F) does not specify a deadline for the judge to rule on the motion. However, MCR 8.107 recommends that judges decide motions within 35 days; if they fail do so within 56 days, judges must report that to the Michigan Supreme Court.


When facing dissatisfaction with a divorce or child custody ruling, seeking counsel from an experienced family law attorney is crucial. Our adept family law attorneys offer a comprehensive evaluation of your case and devise a strategic plan for optimal long-term results. If you’re grappling with an unfavorable ruling, contact our experienced family law team at 616-285-0808.