What Is a Motion to Consolidate or Motion for Consolidation?

General Definition

A motion to consolidate or motion for consolidation is a legal request filed by a party in a lawsuit, seeking to combine two or more separate cases with similar facts, legal issues, or parties into a single proceeding. This process aims to promote judicial efficiency, prevent inconsistent rulings, and reduce the overall costs of litigation. It is important to note that the specific criteria and procedures for granting a motion to consolidate may vary between states, reflecting differences in laws and regulations governing the consolidation process.

Overview of State Court Authorities


“The primary purpose of the rule [Rule 42(a)] is to advance judicial economy so long as the parties are not prejudiced. [...] The trial court's abuse of discretion in denying severance can be demonstrated by a showing of prejudice to the complaining party.” (Pennington v. Harvest Foods, Inc. (1996) 326 Ark. 704…)


However, it is also well settled that “Rule 42(b), Rules of Civ.Proc., 16 A.R.S., authorizes an order for a separate trial of any claim or of any separate issue whenever so doing is in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy.” (See Mulhern v. City of Scottsdale (1990) 165 Ariz. 395…)


The trial courts have discretion to consolidate actions involving common questions of law or fact and are pending in the same court. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 1048(a).) The purpose is to enhance trial court efficiency (i.e., to avoid unnecessary duplication of evidence and procedures); and to avoid the substantial danger of…


“Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 42(a), a court may order a joint trial of two actions when they involve a common question of law or fact.” (See Prudential v. Dist. Ct. (1980) 617 P.2d 556…)


In Mills v. Rita H. Carter Revocable Trust, [Superior Court, judicial district of New London, Docket No. CV 126015038, (Feb. 19, 2013, Devine, J.)], the Court analyzed under what circumstances two or more causes of action may be joined together. Connecticut General Statutes § 52-97 and Practice Book § 10-21 contain virtually identical language and state in relevant part, that…


“Since the ability to consolidate cases or issues together is essentially a case-management tool, courts are afforded a broad amount of discretion in the determination of whether or not to consolidate.” (See Schlosser & Dennis, LLC v. City of Newark, C.A. No. N15A-09-007 RRC, at *8 (Del. Super. Ct. May 9, 2016).)


Florida Courts have noted that Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.270(a) essentially “duplicates” federal rule 42(a). (See Wagner v. Nova Univ. (1981) 397 So.2d 375, 377; see also Higley S., Inc. v. Park Shore Dev. Co. (1986) 494 So.2d 227, 229.) “As a result, Florida courts may look to cases interpreting the federal rule for guidance.” (Agrofollajes, S.A. v. E.I. Du Pont de…)


“The Georgia Supreme Court has carved out a narrow exception and held that absent consent, consolidation may still be ordered ‘on the defendant's motion, of all claims which derive from personal injuries sustained by a single individual.’” (Smith, supra, 361 Ga. App. at 855 citing Stenger v. Grimes (1991) 260 Ga. 838…)


“A motion to consolidate should be allowed as an ‘aid to convenience’ if it can be done ‘without prejudice to a substantial right.’” (Reidy v. Reidy (In re Reidy) (2018) 427 Ill. Dec. 69…)


“Indiana Trial Rule 42(A) provides that a trial court may order actions to be consolidated when the actions involve common questions of law or fact.” (See Smith v. Progressive Se. Ins. Co. (2020) 150 N.E.3d 192 …)


“In addition to their common purpose of judicial economy, rules 42(a) and 54(b) apply to similar subjects; both attempt to manage multiple claims or parties linked together in some way. In the case of rule 42(a), the rule is the means by which separate claims or parties are brought together, while rule 54(b) is the vehicle by which decisions resolving one or more claims, already linked in a single action, may be separated out for appellate review. Absent such separation, however…


“Consolidation should not be ordered if a substantial right of a party would be significantly prejudiced.” (Gardner, supra, 175 Mich. App. at 250 citing Kubiak v. Hurr (1985) 143 Mich. App. 465…)


It is also well settled that “when actions involving a common question of law or fact are consolidated for the sole purpose of conducting a joint trial (Rule 42.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure) no merger of the actions results, and each action retains its separate identity and no increase, diminution, or change in the fundamental rights or status of the respective litigants occurs by virtue of such consolidation for joint trial.” (See Simon v. Carroll (1954) 241 Minn. 211…)


It is well settled that “Missouri courts have recognized that when actions are consolidated only for joint hearing or trial, the rights of action are not merged into one but remain separate and distinct." (See Moss v. Home Depot USA, Inc. (1999) 988 S.W.2d 627 …)

North Carolina

It is well settled that “Rule 42(a) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure provides the trial court with authority to consolidate pending actions involving a common question of law or fact.” (See Boone Ford, Inc. v. IME Scheduler, Inc. (2017) 253 N.C. App. 1, 3.)

North Dakota

“There is broad judicial discretion in determining whether or not consolidation is proper and courts exercising that discretion will seldom be overruled.” (See Praus v. Mack (2001) 626 N.W.2d 239…)

New Jersey

“The right to consolidate several actions is regulated by statute. Defendants may, at any time, move to consolidate several actions which are capable of being consolidated.” (See Thorn v. Langue (1939) 122 N.J.L. 342…)

New Mexico

“The consolidation of causes of action is a matter vested solely within the discretion of the trial court and the exercise of such discretion will not be disturbed on appeal absent a showing of abuse of discretion.” (Hanratty v. Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Dist (1971) 82 N.M. 275…)


“Both NRCP 42(a) and its federal counterpart allow for consolidation of actions that involve a common question of law or fact. Under FRCP 42(a), which is identical to NRCP 42(a), federal district courts enjoy broad, but not unfettered, discretion in ordering consolidation. Additionally, this court has held that a district court exercises its own sound discretion in considering a motion to order a separate trial under NRCP 42(b).” (Marcuse v. Del Webb Communities (2007) 123 Nev. 278…)

New York

Common questions exist where the actions arise out of the same facts or transactions and require the determination of common issues. (Best Price Jewelers Com., Inc. v. Internet Data Storage & Sys., Inc., 51 A.D.3d 839, 840 [2nd Dept. 2008].) Additionally, two actions may involve common questions of law or fact where evidence that would be relevant and admissible in one action would also be…


“Civ. R. 42(A) does not require a hearing by the trial court before denying a motion to consolidate when it is apparent from the record that a hearing would be improper and possibly violate Civ. R. 42(B).” (City Loan Savings Co. v. Howard (1984) 16 Ohio App. 3d 185.)


“A trial court may consolidate pending actions involving a common question of law or fact.” (See Kent v. City of Okla. City (2020) 467 P.3d 726…)


“Consolidation is governed by ORCP 53A, which permits it only on the motion of a party.” (See Atkeson v. Cupp (1984) 68 Or. App. 196…)


“In actions pending in a county which involve a common question of law or fact or which arise from the same transaction or occurrence, the court on its own motion or on the motion of any party may order a joint hearing or trial of any matter in issue in the actions, may order the actions consolidated, and may make orders that avoid unnecessary cost or delay.” (Pa.R.Civ.P. 213(a).)

Rhode Island

It is also well settled that Rule 65(a)(2) is a flexible procedure that "may be raised by the parties or on the court's own motion. [T]he decision whether or not to consolidate the hearing for preliminary relief with a trial on the merits is left to the sound discretion of the trial justice [who] may order consolidation and advancement in any appropriate manner as long as his order protects the parties' rights to a full hearing on the merits.” (See Richards v. Halder (2004) 853 A.2d 1206…)


Rule 174 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governs consolidation of actions. Rule 174(a) provides: “When actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions; it may order all the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning…”


Stated differently, “a court may order a joint trial when pending actions involve a common question of law or fact.” (See V.R.C.P. 42(a); Mobbs v. Central Vermont Railway, Inc. (1990) 155 Vt. 210…)


“CR 42(a) permits the court to consolidate actions involving common questions of law or fact and to make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.” (See Lerner v. Cascade Designs, Inc., No. 81445-1-I, at *5 (Wash. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2021).)


“Consolidation for purposes of trial will usually be granted in the administration of justice when prejudice will not result.” (See In Interest of T.M.S (1989) 152 Wis. 2d 345…)

Please wait a moment while we load this page.

New Envelope