What is a Summary Judgment Motion?
Transcript: What does it mean if a summary judgment motion is filed in my case?
That’s a question that we often hear from clients.
Hi. I’m David Holub. An Indiana personal injury attorney.
A summary judgment motion is basically a motion that a plaintiff can file or a defendant can file which basically is asking the court to judge the case and decide it without having to call a jury. Now, there are some circumstances when a jury is not required, and that’s when the facts are so clear and so settled that nobody possibly could decide them otherwise.
And in that situation, a jury is not necessary. A good example would be a rear-end collision where three witnesses say that you were stopped at a stop light and the defendant never slowed down and just slammed into the rear of your car.
In that kind of a situation, we may ask for a summary judgment, which means a judgment written by the court that there’s no need to submit the issue of fault to a jury. In other words, it’s so clear that, on the issue of fault, the judge can decide it. In such a case, the issue of your damages would remain an issue for a jury. But these types of motions shorten the trial.
Summary judgment motions, though, are dangerous if the defendant files one against the plaintiff and they are able to establish that there are no facts under which the plaintiff could possibly win their case. In those situations, your case, from the plaintiff’s side, may be thrown out of the court.
So summary judgment motions are important and if you’re involved in a lawsuit or we’re representing you, we will be happy to talk to you about the consequences of summary judgment motions.
Hopefully this informational video has answered your question on this subject. Feel free to check out our website for additional informational videos.