A motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56 is the topic of this blog post.
A motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56 in United States District Court is is authorized by Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which states in pertinent part that summary judgment is proper where “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” See Fed. R. Civ. P 56(a).
A motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56 must be filed no later than 30 days after the close of all discovery in the case unless a different time is specified by a local rule or specific order of the Court.
The moving party should give at least 31 calendar days notice of the motion unless a different time is specified by a local rule or specific order of the Judge hearing the case. The moving party should also carefully review the local rules for their Court as well as standing orders for the Judge as many districts and even individual Judges have very specific rules and procedures that must be followed for summary judgment motions.
For example in the Central District of California local rule 7-3 requires that the moving party must meet and confer with the opposing party in an attempt to resolve any issues before any motion is filed and local rule 56-1 has very specific requirements for the documents that must be included with the motion including a requirement that a Statement of Uncontroverted Facts and Conclusions of Law and proposed Judgment granting summary judgment must be served and filed with the motion.
A motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56 should be considered by any defendant who can meet their burden of showing that plaintiff cannot establish the existence of any element essential to any or all of their causes of action and on which they bear the burden of proof at trial and whose discovery responses are clearly vague and ambiguous and are lacking in any specific facts or evidence.
The United States Supreme Court has stated that the moving party on a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment has the burden of demonstrating that there is no genuine issue of fact in dispute that requires a trial. Once the moving party has met their burden the party opposing the motion cannot just rely on any denials in their pleadings but instead must set forth specific facts showing a genuine issue of fact in dispute that requires trial.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that the party opposing a summary judgment motion cannot defeat the motion simply by relying on conclusory allegations that are not supported by any evidence. And they have also stated that an issue of fact alone is not sufficient reason to deny a motion for summary judgment unless there is a genuine issue of material fact that is capable of directly affecting the outcome of the case, and that the evidence must be substantial and not merely speculative.
Sample motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56.
Attorneys or parties who would like to view a portion of a 17 page sample motion for summary judgment by a defendant under Rule 56 in United States District Court containing brief instructions, a table of contents and table of authorities as well as a memorandum of points and authorities with citations to case law and statutory authority, statement of uncontroverted facts and conclusions of law, sample declaration, proposed judgment granting summary judgment and proof of service by mail sold by the author can see below.
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The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and retired litigation paralegal that worked in California and Federal litigation from January 1995 through September 2017 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.