Summary Judgment Law and Legal Definition

A summary judgment is a decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented in the legal pleadings and documents filed, without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment is properly granted when the evidence in support of the moving party establishes that there is no genuine issue of material fact to be tried. A material fact is one which tends to prove or disprove an element of the claim.

The motion for summary judgment may be brought by any party to the case and supported by declarations under oath, excerpts from depositions which are under oath, admissions of fact and other discovery, as well as case law and other legal authority, that argue that there are no triable issues of fact and that the settled facts require a summary judgment for the moving party. If the motion for summary judgment is denied, the case proceeds in the court system until settled or concluded after trial.