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Legal Memorandum: Standard for Granting Summary Judgment

Issue: What is the standard for summary judgment under the laws of the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; No issue as to any material fact; Judgment as a matter of law
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 78 F. Supp. 2d 456
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 12/01/2006

  The standard for granting summary judgment is a “stringent” one.  In re Tutu Wells Contamination Litig., 78 F. Supp. 2d 456, 461 (D.V.I. 1999).  That is, a motion for summary judgment cannot be granted unless the moving party demonstrates that (1) there is no issue as to any material fact and (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Apalucci v. Agora Syndicate, Inc., 145 F.3d 630, 631 (3d Cir. 1998).

At the summary judgment stage, the court’s function is not to weigh the evidence, determine credibility or decide the truth of a matter; rather, the court is only to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.  Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).  Thus, the “threshold inquiry” in determining a summary judgment motion is whether there are “any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they reasonably may be resolved in favor of either party.”  In re Tutu Wells, 78 F. Supp. 2d at 460 (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250).  In deciding whether there is a disputed issue of material fact, the court must grant all reasonable inferences from the evidence in favor of the nonmoving party.  Serbin v. Bora Corp., 96 F.3d 66, 69 n.2 (3d Cir. 1996). 

Under Rule 56(c), the moving party bears the burden of pointing out to the court an absence of evidence to support […]

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