Rule 6.502 Motion for Relief From Judgment

(A) Nature of Motion. The request for relief under this subchapter must be in the form of a motion to set aside or modify the judgment. The motion must specify all of the grounds for relief which are available to the defendant and of which the defendant has, or by the exercise of due diligence, should have knowledge.

(B) Limitations on Motion. A motion may seek relief from one judgment only. If the defendant desires to challenge the validity of additional judgments, the defendant must do so by separate motions. For the purpose of this rule, multiple convictions resulting from a single trial or plea proceeding shall be treated as a single judgment.

(C) Form of Motion. The motion may not be noticed for hearing, and must be typed or legibly handwritten and include a verification by the defendant or defendant’s lawyer in accordance with MCR 2.114. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, the combined length of the motion and any memorandum of law in support may not exceed 50 pages double-spaced, exclusive of attachments and exhibits. If the court enters an order increasing the page limit for the motion, the same order shall indicate that the page limit for the prosecutor’s response provided for in MCR 6.506(A) is increased by the same amount. The motion must be substantially in the form approved by the State Court Administrative Office, and must include:

(1) The name of the defendant;

(2) The name of the court in which the defendant was convicted and the file number of the defendant's case;

(3) The place where the defendant is confined, or, if not confined, the defendant’s current address;

(4) The offenses for which the defendant was convicted and sentenced;

(5) The date on which the defendant was sentenced;

(6) Whether the defendant was convicted by a jury, by a judge without jury, or on a plea of guilty, guilty but mentally ill, or nolo contendere;

(7) The sentence imposed (probation, fine, and/or imprisonment), the length of the sentence imposed, and whether the defendant is now serving that sentence;

(8) The name of the judge who presided at trial and imposed sentence;

(9) The court, title, and file number of any proceeding (including appeals and federal court proceedings) instituted by the defendant to obtain relief from conviction or sentence, specifying whether a proceeding is pending or has been completed;

(10) The name of each lawyer who represented the defendant at any time after arrest, and the stage of the case at which each represented the defendant;

(11) The relief requested;

(12) The grounds for the relief requested;

(13) The facts supporting each ground, stated in summary form;

(14) Whether any of the grounds for the relief requested were raised before; if so, at what stage of the case, and, if not, the reasons they were not raised;

(15) Whether the defendant requests the appointment of counsel, and, if so, information necessary for the court to determine whether the defendant is entitled to appointment of counsel at public expense.

Upon request, the clerk of each court with trial level jurisdiction over felony cases shall make available blank motion forms without charge to any person desiring to file such a motion.

(D) Return of Insufficient Motion. If a motion is not submitted on a form approved by the State Court Administrative Office, or does not substantially comply with the requirements of these rules, the court shall either direct that it be returned to the defendant with a statement of the reasons for its return, along with the appropriate form, or adjudicate the motion under the provisions of these rules. The clerk of the court shall retain a copy of the motion.

(E) Attachments to Motion. The defendant may attach to the motion any affidavit, document, or evidence to support the relief requested.

(F) Amendment and Supplementation of Motion. The court may permit the defendant to amend or supplement the motion at any time.

(G) Successive Motions.

(1) Except as provided in subrule (G)(2), regardless of whether a defendant has previously filed a motion for relief from judgment, after August 1, 1995, one and only one motion for relief from judgment may be filed with regard to a conviction. The court shall return without filing any successive motions for relief from judgment. A defendant may not appeal the denial or rejection of a successive motion.

(2) A defendant may file a second or subsequent motion based on a retroactive change in law that occurred after the first motion for relief from judgment or a claim of new evidence that was not discovered before the first such motion. The clerk shall refer a successive motion that asserts that one of these exceptions is applicable to the judge to whom the case is assigned for a determination whether the motion is within one of the exceptions.