Issue: May a Rule 12 motion to dismiss be converted to a summary judgment motion without compliance with Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 115.03 in Minnesota?
Area of Law:
Litigation & Procedure
Motion to dismiss; Summary judgment motion; Conversion
Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 115.03, Minn. R. Civ. P. 12
“[i]f a moving party fails to support a summary judgment motion with facts showing no genuine issue of material facts, then the defending party may rely on the allegations of the pleadings.” (citing Dempsey v. Jaroscak,188 N.W.2d 779 (1971)).
Conversion of a Rule 12 motion to dismiss to a summary judgment motion without compliance with Minn. R. Gen. Prac. 115.03 is error. Rule 115.03(a), (d) mandates that when a converted Rule 12 motion is “factually based” then “no motion shall be heard” until the moving party submits a memorandum of law containing (1) a statement of the issues; (2) a statement of all documents relied on; and (3) a statement of all material facts not in dispute with record cites. However, compliance with Rule 115.03 is not discretionary; it is mandatory and its violation undermines the underlying purposes of Rule 115 which are to “create uniform motion practice in all districts of the state” and “to make civil practice more efficient and fairer.”
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