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Definition of Summary Judgment

A summary judgment is a decision made by the court based on the presented evidence without the case going to trial. Summary judgments are made if there is no genuine issue of material fact that would make a trial necessary, the party making the Motion for Summary Judgment is entitled to judgment under the law and the evidence demonstrates that "reasonable minds" could only find in favor of the party making the Motion for Summary Judgment.

The court will not make a Motion for Summary Judgment if there are issues which need to be heard through the trial process. To make this decision the judge views the evidence (pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, written admissions, affidavits, transcripts of evidence) in a way that is most favorable to the party that has not asked for Summary Judgment. Motion for Summary Judgments must be filed within a specified time period before a trial start date. Once the motion is filed, the other side has 14 days to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment. Failure to respond will allow the court to rule in favor of the motion.

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