How do I respond to a Motion for summary judgment in Oklahoma?
A summary judgment is a decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented in the legal pleadings and documents filed, without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment is properly granted when the evidence in support of the moving party establishes that there is no genuine issue of material fact to be tried. A material fact is one which tends to prove or disprove an element of the claim.
The motion for summary judgment may be brought by any party to the case and supported by declarations under oath, excerpts from depositions which are under oath, admissions of fact and other discovery, as well as case law and other legal authority, that argue that there are no triable issues of fact and that the settled facts require a summary judgment for the moving party. If the motion for summary judgment is denied, the case proceeds in the court system until settled or concluded after trial.
The party who has been served with a Motion for Summary Judgment may respond in accordance with the Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure.
The following is an excerpt from the Oklahoma statutes:
§12-2056. Motions for summary judgment.
A. BY A CLAIMING PARTY. A party claiming relief may move, with or without supporting affidavits, for summary judgment on all or part of the claim. The motion may be filed at any time after twenty (20) days have passed from commencement of the action or the opposing party serves a motion for summary judgment.
B. BY A DEFENDING PARTY. A party against whom relief is sought may move at any time, with or without supporting affidavits, for summary judgment on all or part of the claim.
C. SERVING THE MOTION AND PROCEEDINGS. The motion must be served at least ten (10) days before the day set for the hearing. An opposing party may serve opposing affidavits before the hearing day. The judgment sought should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
D. CASE NOT FULLY ADJUDICATED ON THE MOTION. If summary judgment is not rendered on the whole action, the court should, to the extent practicable, determine what material facts are not genuinely at issue. The court should so determine by examining the pleadings and evidence before it and by interrogating the attorneys. It should then issue an order specifying what facts, including items of damages or other relief, are not genuinely at issue. The facts so specified must be treated as established in the action. An interlocutory summary judgment may be rendered on liability alone, even if there is a genuine issue on the amount of damages.
E. AFFIDAVITS AND FURTHER TESTIMONY. A supporting or opposing affidavit must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant is competent to testify on the matters stated. If a paper or part of a paper is referred to in an affidavit, a sworn or certified copy must be attached to or served with the affidavit. The court may permit an affidavit to be supplemented or opposed by depositions, answers to interrogatories, or additional affidavits. When a motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported, an opposing party may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading; rather, its response must, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, set out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. If the opposing party does not so respond, summary judgment should, if appropriate, be entered against that party.
F. WHEN AFFIDAVITS ARE UNAVAILABLE. If a party opposing the motion shows by affidavit that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may deny the motion, order a continuance to enable affidavits to be obtained, depositions to be taken, or other discovery to be undertaken or issue any other just order.
G. AFFIDAVITS SUBMITTED IN BAD FAITH. If satisfied that an affidavit under this rule is submitted in bad faith or solely for delay, the court must order the submitting party to pay the other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, it incurred as a result. An offending party or attorney may also be held in contempt.
Added by Laws 2009, c. 228, § 17, eff. Nov. 1, 2009.