CR 59: NEW TRIAL, RECONSIDERATION, AND AMENDMENT OF JUDGMENTS

(a) Grounds for New Trial or Reconsideration.

On the motion of the party aggrieved, a verdict may be vacated and a new trial granted to all or any of the parties, and on all issues, or on some of the issues when such issues are clearly and fairly separable and distinct, or any other decision or order may be vacated and reconsideration granted. Such motion may be granted for any one of the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights of such parties:

(1) Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party, or any order of the court, or abuse of discretion, by which such party was prevented from having a fair trial.

(2) Misconduct of prevailing party or jury; and whenever any one or more of the jurors shall have been induced to assent to any general or special verdict or to a finding on any question or questions submitted to the jury by the court, other and different from the juror's own conclusions, and arrived at by a resort to the determination of chance or lot, such misconduct may be proved by the affidavits of one or more of the jurors;

(3) Accident or surprise which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against;

(4) Newly discovered evidence, material for the party making the application, which the party could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial;

(5) Damages so excessive or inadequate as unmistakably to indicate that the verdict must have been the result of passion or prejudice;

(6) Error in the assessment of the amount of recovery whether too large or too small, when the action is upon a contract, or for the injury or detention of property;

(7) That there is no evidence or reasonable inference from the evidence to justify the verdict or the decision, or that it is contrary to law;

(8) Error in law occurring at the trial and objected to at the time by the party making the application; or

(9) That substantial justice has not been done.

(b) Time for Motion; Contents of Motion.

A motion for a new trial or for reconsideration shall be filed not later than 10 days after the entry of the judgment, order, or other decision. The motion shall be noted at the time it is filed, to be heard or otherwise considered within 30 days after the entry of the judgment, order, or other decision, unless the court directs otherwise. A motion for a new trial or for reconsideration shall identify the specific reasons in fact and law as to each ground on which the motion is based.

(c) Time for Serving Affidavits.

When a motion for new trial is based on affidavits, they shall be filed with the motion. The opposing party has 10 days after service to file opposing affidavits, but that period may be extended for up to 20 days, either by the court for good cause or by the parties' written stipulation. The court may permit reply affidavits.

(d) On Initiative of Court.

Not later than 10 days after entry of judgment, the court on its own initiative may order a hearing on its proposed order for a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party. After giving the parties notice and opportunity to be heard, the court may grant a timely motion for a new trial for a reason not stated in the motion. When granting a new trial on its own initiative or for a reason not stated in a motion, the court shall specify the grounds in its order.

(e) Hearing on Motion.

When a motion for reconsideration or for a new trial is filed, the judge by whom it is to be heard may on the judge's own motion or on application determine:

(1) Time of Hearing. Whether the motion shall be heard before the entry of judgment;

(2) Consolidation of Hearings. Whether the motion shall be heard before or at the same time as the presentation of the findings and conclusions and/or judgment, and the hearing on any other pending motion; and/or

(3) Nature of Hearing. Whether the motion or motions and presentation shall be heard on oral argument or submitted on briefs, and if on briefs, shall fix the time within which the briefs shall be served and filed.

(f) Statement of Reasons.

In all cases where the trial court grants a motion for a new trial, it shall, in the order granting the motion, state whether the order is based upon the record or upon facts and circumstances outside the record that cannot be made a part thereof. If the order is based upon the record, the court shall give definite reasons of law and facts for its order. If the order is based upon matters outside the record, the court shall state the facts and circumstances upon which it relied.

(g) Reopening Judgment.

On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the court may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new findings and conclusions, and direct the entry of a new judgment.

(h) Motion To Alter or Amend Judgment.

A motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be filed not later than 10 days after entry of the judgment.

(i) Alternative Motions, etc.

Alternative motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial may be made in accordance with rule 50(c).

(j) Limit on Motions.

If a motion for reconsideration, or for a new trial, or for judgment as a matter of law, is made and heard before the entry of the judgment, no further motion may be made without leave of the court first obtained for good cause shown: (1) for a new trial, (2) pursuant to sections (g), (h), and (i) of this rule, or (3) under rule 52(b).

[Amended effective July 1, 1980; September 1, 1984; September 1, 1989; September 1, 2005; April 28, 2015.]

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