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Legal Memorandum: Motion for Summary Judgment

Issue: Under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands, when should a motion for summary judgment be granted?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for summary judgment; No genuine issue as to any material fact; Judgment as a matter of law
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 477 U.S. 317
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 11/01/2006

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).  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).  When the court decides a motion for summary judgment, it must draw all reasonable inferences in a light most favorable to the nonmovant, and may not consider the credibility or weight of evidence, even if the quantity of the movant’s evidence outweighs that of the nonmovant.  Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of N. Am., Inc., 974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992).  “When deciding a motion for summary judgment . . . a court’s role remains circumscribed in that it is inappropriate for a court to resolve factual disputes and to make credibility determinations.”  Id. at 1362-63.

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