What Is "a Motion to Consolidate?"

A motion to consolidate is a legal motion seeking to combine two separate cases into a single case. These motions can be brought up by the legal council representing either party in the cases, and they are accepted or rejected by the court hearing the cases.

The cases in a motion to consolidate must have a single legal question or area of dispute in common. For example, a pending paternity case could be consolidated with a pending adoption case, but not with a case involving immigration. When cases are consolidated, the oldest pending case becomes the lead case, the one under which further evidence for all consolidated cases is filed.