Sua sponte

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In law, sua sponte (Latin: "of his, her, its or their own accord") or suo motu ("on its own motion")[1] describes an act of authority taken without formal prompting from another party. The term is usually applied to actions by a judge taken without a prior motion or request from the parties. The form nostra sponte ("of our own accord") is sometimes used by the court itself, when the action is taken by a multi-member court, such as an appellate court, rather than by a single judge (third parties describing such actions would still refer to them as being taken by the court as a whole and therefore as 'sua sponte'). While usually applied to actions of a court, the term may reasonably be applied to actions by government agencies and individuals acting in official capacity.

One situation in which a party might encourage a judge to move sua sponte occurs when that party is preserving a special appearance (usually to challenge jurisdiction), and therefore cannot make motions on its own behalf without making a general appearance. Common reasons for an action taken sua sponte are when the judge determines that the court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction or that the case should be moved to another judge because of a conflict of interest, even if all parties disagree.

Notable cases[edit]

Other uses[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "(See--> Paragraph 26) Political Parties Dispute Tribunal & another v Musalia Mudavadi & 6 others Ex Parte Petronila Were [2014] eKLR". The National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law) 17-11- 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  2. ^ Carlisle v. United States, 517 U.S. 416 (Supreme Court of the United States 1996).
  3. ^ Trest v. Cain, 522 U.S. 87 (Supreme Court of the United States 1997).
  4. ^ Karachi violence suo motu: Supreme Court to resume proceedings from today – The Express Tribune
  5. ^ SC reserves verdict in POL GST suo motu case | Pakistan Today | Latest news | Breaking news | Pakistan News | World news | Business | Sport and Multimedia
  6. ^ Pakistan court takes suo motu notice of Hazara killings - The Hindu
  7. ^ Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
  8. ^ Pak`s CJ takes suo motu notice of illegal CNG licences
  9. ^ The power of suo motu – The Express Tribune
  10. ^ US Army Ranger Association Retrieved 29 March 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^
    Minute Man