Legal Memorandum: Defeating Summary Disposition in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, what standard is imposed on the non-movant in a motion for summary disposition?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Defeat summary disposition; Standard imposed on the non-movant; Affidavits
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.05
Date: 07/01/2014

To defeat summary disposition, the standard imposed on the non-movant is more rigorous.  To meet this standard, “affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify as to the matters stated therein.”  Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.05. 

Thus, to defeat summary disposition, affidavits must show that they are based on first-hand, personal knowledge, are not mere opinions or conclusions and are not simply based on a review of other records or the statements of others.  See Fahrendorff ex rel. Fahrendorff v. North Homes Inc., 597 N.W.2d 905, 912 (Minn. 1999) ( affidavits are “insufficient to raise a question of material fact if they merely state legal or factual conclusions without providing a basis for the affiants’ knowledge and without making any showing that the affiants were competent to testify as to the matters stated.”); City of Duluth v. P.F.L., 431 N.W.2d 135, 137 (Minn. 1988) (affidavit containing only “opinions, beliefs and allegations” insufficient to oppose summary judgment); Doesken v. Kraus-Anderson Constr. Co. at *2 (Minn. Ct. App. June 30, 1992) (“A review of business records, standing alone, is not personal knowledge of the events reflected in the records.”).


Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)