Motion for More Definite Statement Law and Legal Definition

A Motion for More Definite Statement is a motion that requests the court to order the other party to clarify its statements or allegations. Such motions are made because the claims made are so vague or ambiguous that the party making the motion cannot reasonably frame a response. It is the discretion of the court to grant or deny a motion for more definite statement. The presiding judge will grant the motion if it has legal merits, and strike it from the record if it lacks merit.

A Motion for More Definite Statement is filed before filing an answer. Pursuant to USCS Fed Rules Civ Proc R 12, a party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response. The motion must be made before filing a responsive pleading and must point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the court orders a more definite statement and the order is not obeyed within 14 days after notice of the order or within the time the court sets, the court may strike the pleading, or issue any other appropriate order.

A motion for more definite statement is properly granted only where a major ambiguity or omission in the complaint renders it unanswerable. [Brasel v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19281 (D. Ark. 2008)]