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Sua sponte, Latin for "of one's own accord," is a legal term that means to act spontaneously without prompting from another party. The term is usually applied to actions by a judge, taken without a prior motion or request from the parties.
One situation when a party might encourage a judge to move sua sponte is 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.