Legal Memorandum: Standard for Summary Judgment in IL

Issue: Under Illinois law, what is the standard for summary judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Genuine issue as to any material fact; Standard
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: 559 N.E.2d 511; 515 N.E.2d 113; 546 N.E.2d 77; 561 N.E.2d 695; 509 N.E.2d 692; 555 N.E.2d 1005
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2001

           "Although summary judgment is recognized as a salutary procedure in the administration of justice, it should be granted with caution so that the right to trial of conflicting facts and inferences is not usurped."  O’Brien v. Rodgers, 198 Ill. App. 3d 341, 344, 555 N.E.2d 1005 (5th Dist.), appeal denied, 133 Ill. 2d 560, 561 N.E.2d 695 (1990); see also Hagy v. McHenry County Conservation Dist., 190 Ill. App. 3d 833, 842, 546 N.E.2d 77 (2d Dist. 1989) ("Summary judgment should be awarded with caution so as not to preempt the right to trial by jury or the right to present fully a factual basis for a case when a material dispute may exist.")  Thus, summary judgment is properly granted only when the pleadings, depositions and admissions, together with any affidavits, show there is no genuine issue as to a material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  Ill. Stat. ch. 110, para. 2-1005(c) (1983).

Because of the extreme nature of the remedy, the court when deciding a summary judgment motion must construe the evidence strictly against the movant and most liberally in favor of the nonmoving party.  Iceonogle v. Myers, 167 Ill. App. 3d 239, 243, 521 N.E.2d 163 (3d Dist. 1988).  The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of "affirmatively show[ing] that his right thereto is clear, free from doubt and determinable solely as a matter of law."  Old Second Nat’l Bank […]

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