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Ticking Clocks – When to Open a Judgment

Everyone has heard the old saying ‘It’s never too late’ at some point in his or her life. In many cases this is true; however, when it comes to filing motions in Connecticut Judicial Superior Court – Family, it is better not to put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

Just because a judgment has been rendered does not mean that the matter is completely closed. Many times, additional facts or other evidence arises that would have changed the outcome. When this happens, a party can file a motion to have the judgment opened. Judgments are opened when a person alleges facts that if true, would render the judgment inequitable.

Due to the highly methodical structure of the court system, a party must strictly adhere to the procedure in order to have a judgment opened. First, the party must file a Motion to Open or Set Aside. This must be filed within four months of the date of judgment. If the party does not file the motion by the four month deadline, he or she loses the ability to have the case reopened and his or her only other option is to file a new lawsuit. Upon filing the Motion to Open, the party must pay the court a $125.00 fee. Thereafter, the filing party has ninety days to mark the motion ready. If the motion is not marked ready by that date, the judge will dismiss the motion.

Time is of the essence when it comes to the court system. Make sure you follow each step precisely as the statute requires. It is important not to dilly dally because you do not want to miss your window to file the motion and have your case heard.