LegalYou: What Is A Summary Judgment And Why Is It Important?

Sometimes we’ve just seen enough to make a judgment.

Same goes for court.

A Summary Judgment is when a Civil Court rules in favor of one party over the other without a full trial. Now this may sound like it’s all willy nilly, that maybe the court has a long weekend in mind. But a Summary Judgment is sought out by one of the parties.

When a party files a Motion for Summary Judgment, they are then referred to as the Moving Party. There are a few reasons a Summary Judgment may be issued by a court, besides the Moving Party just, well, wanting them to. There are two main requirements.

First, the parties to the lawsuit have to agree on the material facts, the facts that are important to the legal decision. Second, the law must say these undisputed facts entitle the Moving Party to a judgment. If you are seeking a Summary Judgment in your case or defending against one, there are a handful of procedural steps that you should be aware of. LegalYou will help you with those. Now if you are the Moving Party, substantial evidence must be given to back up your argument just as it would in a trial.

There are many ways to bring evidence, but the key is that it must be admissible. That means the judge can only look at what is allowed by the Evidence Code. The most common way of bringing evidence is to put your testimony or that of the key witness down on paper.

You or the witness will have to swear to that by signing it in front of a notary. That paper is called an affidavit. Both you and your opponent can bring affidavits. Also, before your hearing, both parties can also give the judge written arguments as to why they should win. These written arguments are called Memoranda. There are rules as to when affidavits or other evidence must be given to the judge and to your opponent.

Check these rules and other helpful videos available at LegalYou.