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Legal Memorandum: Motion for Summary Judgment

Issue: Under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands, what is the standard for a court to follow when determining whether to grant a motion for summary judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for summary judgment; No genuine issue as to any material fact; Entitled to judgment as a matter of law
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 47 F. Supp. 2d 595; 477 U.S. 317; 477 U.S. 242; 16 F.3d 532; 96 F.3d 66
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 01/01/2006

Summary judgment is appropriate only if the pleadings, depositions, answers and affidavits 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).  A genuine dispute exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.  See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). 

Upon a Motion for Summary Judgment, the nonmoving party must present sufficient evidence “to establish the existence of [each] element essential to that party’s case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial."  Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).  In evaluating whether the nonmoving party has established each element, the Court must grant all reasonable inferences from the evidence to the nonmoving party, Serbin v. Bora Corp., Ltd., 96 F.3d 66, 69 n.2 (3d Cir. 1996), and must accept any fact advanced by the nonmoving party through admissible affidavits and evidence as true, resolving any doubt in that party’s favor. See Brown v. Vitelcom, Inc., 47 F. Supp. 2d 595, 598, 41 V.I. 253 (D.V.I. 1999).  Credibility determinations are not the judge’s function; “instead the non-movant’s evidence must be credited at this stage.”  Davis v. Portline Transportes Maritime Internacional, 16 F.3d 532, 536 n.3 (3d Cir. 1994) (quoting […]

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