Legal Memorandum: Filing Summary Judgment Motions–US

Issue: What are the applicable filing deadlines for summary judgment motions in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment motions; Filing deadlines
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: U.S. Dist Ct. Rules, D. Minn. L.R. 7.1; U.S. Dist Ct. Rules, D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(c)(1)(A); U.S. Dist Ct. Rules, D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(c)(2); U.S. Dist Ct. Rules, D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(c)(3); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(b)(2)
Date: 02/01/2013

Local Rule 7.1 for the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, sets forth the filing deadlines applicable to summary judgment motions.  The rule provides that, for all dispositive motions, the moving party may provide affidavits with its moving papers and initial memorandum of law, all of which must be filed and served 42 days before the date of the hearing.  U.S. Dist Ct. Rules, D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(c)(1)(A).  The responding party may serve and file its responsive memorandum and affidavits within 21 days after the moving party serves and files its papers.  Id. at R. 7.1(c)(2).  While the rule also allows for a reply memorandum from the moving party within 14 days after the non-movant’s response, this provision does not reference the inclusion of affidavits at that point.  See id. at R. 7.1(c)(3). 

That is, “[a]lthough the rule makes provision for a Reply Memorandum, it neither permits nor prohibits the moving party from filing affidavits or other factual materials therewith.”  Id., 1999 Advisory Committee Note to L.R. 7.1(b)(2) [now 7.1(c)(2)].  The Advisory Committee Note goes on to explain, however, that

[t]he rule contemplates that the discovery record will allow the initial summary judgment submission to anticipate and address the responding party’s factual claims.  Reply affidavits are appropriate only when necessary to address factual claims of the responding party that were not reasonably anticipated.  It is improper to withhold information—either from discovery or from initial moving papers—in order to gain an advantage.

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