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Legal Memorandum: Granting Summary Judgment in VI

Issue: What is the standard of review for a grant summary judgment in the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Genuine issues of material fact
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 139 F.3d 386; 974 F.2d 1358; 47 F. Supp. 2d 595; 477 U.S. 242; 909 F.2d 1524; 420 F.3d 243; 16 F.3d 532
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 09/01/2008

The Virgin Island Supreme Court’s standard of review of a grant of summary judgment by the Superior Court is plenaryBright v. United Corp., No. 2007/80 (V.I. July 22, 2008); Williams v. United Corp., No. 2007-118 (V.I. July 10, 2008).  Accord Caver v. City of Trenton, 420 F.3d 243, 253 (3d Cir. 2005).  The appellate court applies the same standard as the trial court should have utilized in determining whether summary judgment was appropriate.  Bright, supra Williams, supraAccord Caver, 420 F.3d at 253.

Summary judgment may only be granted “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).  Accord Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Mingolla v. Minn. Mining & Mfg., 893 F. Supp. 499 (D.V.I. 1995); Clint Aero, Inc. v. Ground Servs., Inc., 754 F. Supp. 57, 58 (D.V.I. 1990).  A genuine dispute exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.  See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 247-48. 

The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of showing the basis for dismissal.  Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).  In evaluating whether the nonmoving party has established each element, the court must grant […]

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