What Happens After a Summary Judgement?

Summary Judgment is a legal motion in civil litigation wherein the moving party seeks to have all the claims in the case finally determined by the judge instead of proceeding to a trial on the claims. A Summary Judgment Motion is based upon admissible evidence obtained during the Discovery Phase of the case and relies upon the legal elements of each cause of action. The facts and supporting admissible evidence must be undisputed in order for a judge to grant such a motion. If a judge finds there are disputed issues of fact, meaning that both sides presented evidence that supports conflicting information, then the judge must deny the motion. At that point, the case, at least on any surviving causes of action, will continue until the parties have either settled the case or proceeded to trial. If the judge grants the motion on some of the causes of action, but not all, then it is called a Summary Adjudication. If a judge grants a Summary Judgment Motion in favor of the defense, then the case is over unless the party who filed the Complaint, the Plaintiff, files an appeal. If the Summary Judgment motion was brought by the Plaintiff and is granted, then the case proceeds to determine the damages (if sought) or will issue an order for equitable relief (if sought). The case is then over unless the losing party appeals.