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Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment Standard in MH

Issue: Under the law of the Marshall Islands, what is the standard applied to a plaintiff seeking summary judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; No genuine issue as to any material fact; Judgment as a matter of law
Jurisdiction: Federal, Marshall Islands
Cited Cases: 477 U.S. 242
Cited Statutes: RMI R. Civ. P. 56(c); RMI R. Civ. P. 56(e)
Date: 01/01/2010

Summary judgment for a moving party must “be rendered forthwith 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.”  RMI R. Civ. P. 56(c).

The moving party bears the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.  Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).  Once the movant meets that burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify facts which show a genuine issue for trial.  Id. at 324; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) ( “A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”); see also RMI R. Civ. P. 56(e).

In order to raise a “genuine” issue of fact the “evidence [must be] such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”  Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.  With respect to the materiality of facts, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.”  Id.  Finally, there must be more than a “scintilla” of evidence favoring the nonmoving party to create an […]

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