Genuine Issue of Material Fact Law & Legal Definition


A genuine issue of material fact is a legal term often used as the basis for a motion for summary judgment. A summary judgment is proper if there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Such a motion will be granted if the party making the motion proves there is no genuine issue of material fact to be decided. When the moving party makes a prima facie showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to rebut the showing by presenting substantial evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact.

A factual issue is ‘genuine’ if it is not capable of being conclusively foreclosed by reference to undisputed facts. Although there may be genuine disputes over certain facts, a fact is ‘material’ when its existence facilitates the resolution of an issue in the case. Material facts tend to prove or disprove a disputed fact that is relevant to the outcome in a case.