Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment Motion

Issue: Under the law of the U.S. Virgin Islands, what standards does a court follow in evaluating a summary judgment motion?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment motion; Evidence; No genuine issue as to any material fact
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 974 F.2d 1358; 47 F. Supp. 2d 595; 477 U.S. 317; 372 F.3d 188; 16 F.3d 532; 96 F.3d 66
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 04/01/2006

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).  “This standard requires the Court to determine whether the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, shows there are genuine issues of material fact in dispute which would permit a reasonable jury to find for the non-moving party.”  Tavarez v. Klingensmith, 267 F. Supp. 2d 448, 450 (D.V.I. 2003), aff’d, 372 F.3d 188 (3d Cir. 2004).  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); Davis v. Portline Transportes Maritime Internacional, 16 F.3d 532, 537 n.3 (3d Cir. 1994).  A genuine dispute exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party.  See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).  Upon a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must present sufficient evidence “to establish the existence of [each] element essential to that party’s case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”  Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. 

When the court decides a motion for summary judgment, it must draw all […]

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