(a) Procedure; Grounds.
A verdict, decision or judgment may be vacated and a new trial granted on motion of the aggrieved party for any of the following causes materially affecting that party’s rights:
- Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, referee, jury or prevailing party, or any order or abuse of discretion, whereby the moving party was deprived of a fair trial.
- Misconduct of the jury or prevailing party.
- Accident or surprise which could not have been prevented by ordinary prudence.
- Material evidence, newly discovered, which with reasonable diligence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial.
- Excessive or insufficient damages.
- Error in the admission or rejection of evidence, error in the charge to the jury, or in refusing instructions requested, or other errors of law occurring at the trial or during the progress of the action.
- That the verdict is the result of passion or prejudice.
- That the verdict, decision, findings of fact, or judgment is not justified by the evidence or is contrary to law.
A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and on all or part of the issues in an action in which there has been a trial by jury, for any of the reasons for which new trials are authorized by law or rule of court. 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.
(c) Contents of Motion; Amendment; Rulings Reviewable.
- The motion for new trial shall be in writing, shall specify generally the grounds upon which the motion is based, and may be amended at any time before it is ruled upon by the court.
- Upon the general ground that the court erred in admitting or rejecting evidence, the court shall review all rulings during the trial upon objections to evidence.
- Upon the general ground that the court erred in charging the jury and in refusing instructions requested, the court shall review the charge and the rulings refusing an instruction requested.
- Upon the general ground that the verdict, decision, findings of fact, or judgment is not justified by the evidence, the court shall review the sufficiency of the evidence.
(d) Time for Motion.
A motion for new trial shall be filed not later than 15 days after entry of the judgment.
(f) Time for Serving Affidavits.
When a motion for new trial is based upon affidavits they shall be served with the motion. The opposing party has ten days after such service within which to serve opposing affidavits, which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding twenty days either by the court for good cause shown or by the parties by written stipulation. The court may permit reply affidavits.
(g) On Initiative of Court.
Not later than 15 days after entry of judgment the court of its own initiative may order 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 an opportunity to be heard on the matter, the court may grant a motion for a new trial, timely served, for a reason not stated in the motion. In either case, the court shall specify in the order the grounds therefor.
(h) Questions to be Considered in New Trial.
A new trial, if granted, shall be only a new trial of the question or questions with respect to which the verdict or decision is found erroneous, if separable. If a new trial is ordered because the damages are excessive or inadequate and granted solely for that reason, the verdict shall be set aside only in respect of the damages, and shall stand in all other respects.
(i) Motion on Ground of Excessive or Inadequate Damages.
- When a motion for new trial is made upon the ground that the damages awarded are either excessive or insufficient, the court may grant the new trial conditionally upon the filing within a fixed period of time of a statement by the party adversely affected by reduction or increase of damages accepting that amount of damages which the court shall designate. If such a statement is filed within the prescribed time, the motion for new trial shall be regarded as denied as of the date of such filing. If no statement is filed, the motion for new trial shall be regarded as granted as of the date of the expiration of the time period within which a statement could have been filed. No further written order shall be required to make an order granting or denying the new trial final. If the conditional order of the court requires a reduction of or increase in damages, then the new trial will be granted in respect of the damages only and the verdict shall stand in all other respects.
- If a statement of acceptance is filed by the party adversely affected by reduction or increase of damages, and the other party thereafter perfects an appeal, the party filing such statement may nevertheless cross-appeal and the perfecting of a cross-appeal shall be deemed to revoke the consent to the decrease or increase in damages.
(j) After Service by Publication.
- When judgment has been rendered on service by publication, and the defendant has not appeared, a new trial may be granted upon application of the defendant for good cause shown by affidavit, made within one year after rendition of the judgment.
- Execution of the judgment shall not be stayed unless the defendant gives bond, approved by the clerk, in double the amount of the judgment or value of the property adjudged, payable to the plaintiff in the judgment, conditioned that the party will prosecute the application for new trial to effect, and will satisfy such judgment as may be rendered by the court should its decision be against the defendant.
(k) Number of New Trials.
Not more than two new trials shall be granted to either party in the same action, except when the jury has been guilty of some misconduct or has erred in matters of law.
(l) Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment.
A motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be filed not later than 15 days after entry of judgment.
(m) Specification of Grounds of New Trial in Order.
No order granting a new trial shall be made and entered unless the order specifies with particularity the ground or grounds on which the new trial is granted.