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Motions for New Trial

Motions for New Trial

In Georgia, a Motion for a New Trial may be used by either the respondent or the petitioner in a domestic relations or family law matter to challenge the court’s final judgment. A Motion for a New Trial may be asserted validly when the final judgment is inconsistent with the evidence presented during the trial and contrary to the law governing the issues contested in the trial. O.C.G.A.  §§ 5-5-20 and 5-5-21. Essentially, a Motion for New Trial asks the court to reexamine issues and findings of fact made by the trial court in the initial trial. Eldridge v. Ireland, 259 Ga.App. 44 (2002).

When presented with a Motion for a New Trial, the court that entered the final judgment may grant the motion and a new trial in the matter. It is not necessary for a higher court to intervene or to grant the motion for new trial. See Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VI, § I, ¶ IV. If a Motion for New Trial is granted, the court order entered at the conclusion of the prior trial would be set aside, and the matter will be completely re-litigated. McKay v. McKay, 93 Ga.App. 42 (1955). However, any temporary awards or temporary orders that were in effect prior to the final order will remain in effect until the final resolution of the matter. Id. A successful Motion for New Trial is risky as a new trial will occur in the matter. Although the new trial could possibly benefit the party seeking the new trial, a new trial could also negatively impact the party seeking the new trial, as the outcome of trial ultimately may not be in the favor of the party who sought the new trial.

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