NEW TRIALS; AMENDMENT OF JUDGMENTS
(a) Grounds. A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and on all or part of the issues (1) in an action in which there has been a trial by jury, for any of the reasons for which new trials have heretofore been granted in actions at law in the courts of the State; and (2) in an action tried without a jury, for any of the reasons for which rehearings have heretofore been granted in the courts of the State. 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.
(b) Time for Motion. The motion for a new trial shall be made promptly after the jury is discharged, or in the discretion of the court not later than 10 days thereafter. In non-jury actions the motion shall be made not later than 10 days after the receipt of written notice of the entry of judgment or of the filing of an order disposing of the action, if no judgment has been entered.
(c) 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 10 days after such service within which to serve opposing affidavits, which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 20 days either by the court for good cause shown or by the parties by written stipulation. The court may permit reply affidavits.
(d) On Initiative of Court. Not later than 10 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.
(e) Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment. A motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be served not later than 10 days after receipt of written notice of the entry of the order.
(f) Time for Appeal; End of Term. The time for appeal for all parties shall be stayed by a timely motion under this Rule and shall run from the receipt of written notice of entry of the order granting or denying such motions. The time within which to make the motions under this Rule shall not be affected by the ending of a term of court or departure of the judge from the circuit, and the trial judge shall retain jurisdiction of the action for the purpose of hearing and disposing of such motion if not heard and disposed during the term. Except by consent of the parties, argument on the motion shall be heard in the circuit where the trial was held. The motion may in the discretion of the court be determined on briefs filed by the parties without oral argument.
(g) Judge to be Provided with Copy. A party filing a written motion under this rule shall provide a copy of the motion to the judge within ten (10) days after the filing of the motion.
This Rule 59 is substantially the Federal Rule. It is consistent with Code § 15-27-150. Rule 59(b) provides that if the motions are not made and heard during the term, the more precise and definite Federal practice of allowing 10 days after the entry of judgment to make the motion is more equitable. Rule 59(f) is added to provide that departure from the circuit does not deprive the trial judge of jurisdiction to rule on motions under this Rule and Rules 50, 52 and 60. It also provides flexibility for the trial judge to determine the motions on briefs without oral argument.
Note to 1986 Amendment:
In jury trials, post-trial motions are made promptly at the end of the trial, or at that time the court, upon motion, may grant an additional ten days to make them. These amendments to Rules 59(b) and (e) and (f) conform the language to that of Rules 50 and 52, and provide that the time for appeal commences upon the receipt of written notice of entry of the order disposing of such motions which was prior state practice, rather than the date when the court signed the order which is the practice in the federal courts.
Note to 1998 Amendment:
This amendment adds Rule 59(g). It is intended to help insure that the judge is promptly notified that the motion has been filed.