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Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment Motion in VI

Issue: When considering a motion for summary judgment, can the court consider exhibits that have not been identified by affidavit or made admissible in evidence in the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Uncategorized
Keywords: Motion for summary judgment; Evidence
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 7 F.3d 357
Cited Statutes: Federal Practice and Procedure § 1366
Date: 08/01/2008

Even under summary judgment principles where the court is entitled to review more material than the complaint alone, the court may not consider exhibits unless they “have been identified by affidavit or otherwise made admissible in evidence.”  Pollack v. City of Newark. 147 F. Supp. 35, 39 (D.N.J. 1956), aff’d, 248 F.2d 543 (3d Cir. 1957).

It is clear that the materials submitted by the parties to support or oppose a motion for summary judgment must pass muster under the rules of evidence.  The text of Rule 56(e) makes clear that “supporting and opposing affidavits. . . should set forth facts as would be admissible as evidence.”  Case law enforces this requirement rigorously.

E. Brunet, Summary Judgment Materials, 147 F.R.D. 647, 653 (1993). 

Although under exceptional circumstances the court may also consider materials attached to the defendant’s motion:

·         If the exhibit is an “undisputedly authentic document” (In re Donald J. Trump Casino Secs. Litig., 7 F.3d 357, 368 n.9 (3d Cir. 1993)).

·         If the exhibit itself is “referred to in the challenged pleading” (C. Wright, A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1366, pp. 185-86 (2003)).

·         If an Exhibit central or integral to Plaintiff’s claim for relief. (In re Rockefeller Ctr. Properties, Inc. Secs. Litig., 184 F.3d 280, 287-88 (3d Cir. 1999)).

Moreover, with regard for the rationale […]

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