Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59
Rule 59. New Trial; Altering or Amending a Judgment
(a) IN GENERAL.
(1) Grounds for New Trial. The court may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues—and to any party—as follows:
(2) Further Action After a Nonjury Trial. After a nonjury trial, the court may, on motion for a new trial, open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new ones, and direct the entry of a new judgment.
(b) TIME TO FILE A MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL. A motion for a new trial must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of judgment.
(c) TIME TO SERVE AFFIDAVITS. When a motion for a new trial is based on affidavits, they must be filed with the motion. The opposing party has 14 days after being served to file opposing affidavits. The court may permit reply affidavits.
(d) NEW TRIAL ON THE COURT’S INITIATIVE OR FOR REASONS NOT IN THE MOTION. No later than 28 days after the entry of judgment, the court, on its own, may order a new trial for any reason that would justify granting one on a party’s motion. After giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard, the court may grant a timely motion for a new trial for a reason not stated in the motion. In either event, the court must specify the reasons in its order.
(e) MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND A JUDGMENT. A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.
- If a party believes that a jury’s decision is against the great weight of evidence or there was some sort of serious irregularity in process so that the trial was not fair, a party can move for a new trial pursuant to Rule 59.
- If the court denies the motion, a party can argue on appeal that the judge incorrectly denied the motion for a new trial.
- Remember, on appeal a party will argue that the judge made an error. Simply arguing that the jury made a mistake is not enough on appeal.