Legal Memorandum: Standard for Summary Judgment in MI

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

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Genuine issues of material fact; Standard
Jurisdiction: Michigan
Cited Cases: 370 N.W.2d 357; 326 N.W.2d 810; 202 N.W.2d 577; 362 N.W.2d 751; 177 N.W.2d 629; 411 N.W.2d 757; 214 N.W.2d 838; 462 N.W.2d 348; 426 N.W.2d 794
Cited Statutes: MCR 2.116(C)(10); MCR 2.116(G)(4);
Date: 04/01/2001

              Summary disposition is appropriate when, "[e]xcept as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment or partial judgment as a matter of law."  MCR 2.116(C)(10).  When a motion is made under subrule (C)(10) and properly supported, "an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his or her pleading, but must, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."  MCR 2.116(G)(4).

When deciding a motion made pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10), the court "must view the matter in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, giving that party the benefit of reasonable doubt to find any facts in support of its assertion that an issue of fact existed."  Horen v. Coleco Indus., Inc., 169 Mich. App. 725, 426 N.W.2d 794, 795-96 (1988), appeal granted, 464 N.W.2d 709 (Mich. 1991); see also Glittenburg v. Doughboy Recreational Indus., Inc., 436 Mich. 673, 462 N.W.2d 348, 363 (1990) (inferences must be drawn in favor of nonmovant giving him the benefit of every doubt) (Archer, J.), appeal granted, 464 N.W.2d 710 (Mich. 1991).  A summary judgment motion "tests whether there is factual support for plaintiff’s claim," and such a motion "must not be granted unless the court is satisfied that it is impossible to support the claim at trial because of some […]

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