Latin for "of one's own accord; voluntarily." Used to indicate that a court has taken notice of an issue on its own motion without prompting or suggestion from either party.
As a general rule, where grounds for dismissal exist, an action is subject to dismissal on a court's own motion. A trial court has the power to dismiss an action sua sponte for want of prosecution, or failure to comply with the rules of civil procedure or a court's orders. A court may sua sponte enter a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction even though both parties have agreed to appear in the court.