Wiley Law Offices, PLLC

Norfolk, Virginia | (757) 955-8455

Daily Legalese: Motion Craving Oyer

The motion craving oyer is a personal favorite, since it is just a fun thing to say or write. Motions craving oyer stem from the old English custom of "oyer," which basically meant having a deed or similar document read aloud in court. The motion craving oyer is a descendant of this practice and is still in use in Virginia civil litigation. Basically, if a defendant is sued and the claim is based upon a deed, written contract or similar document, the defendant can make a motion craving oyer asking the court to require the plaintiff to provide the document and incorporate it into the initial pleadings. Although motions craving oyer are still used in Virginia, they are no longer recognized in most jurisdictions, including West Virginia and the federal court system. Accordingly, most litigants and lawyers outside of Virginia may never get the chance to satisfy their cravings for oyer.

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