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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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If you feel like you are ready for a summary judgement. But

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If you feel like you are ready for a summary judgement. But you know the other side is itching for the judge to pull the trigger in a summary judgement for their side. You file a motion for summary judgement, from how I understand the section of summary judgement the judge at that hearing can agree. Dismiss it. Or give a summary judgement to the other side, even if they don't have a motion. So my question is does a summary judgement hearing cut both ways? You can win, but you also can lose with a summary judgment against you all by what the judge thinks.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Not usually. As a general rule, the judge won't grant the other side a summary judgment unless they have a motion pending. If you file a motion for a summary judgment, then the judge can either grant it, in which case you win, or deny it, in which case the lawsuit continues. The exception is when one of the parties clearly has no case and would not win under any circumstances. If that is the case, then the judge can grant a summary judgment sua sponte, which means on his own without a motion. But that is rare. Usually, a judge will give the parties an opportunity to prove their case.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for that response. I definitely misunderstood what I read in the CPLR. A SJ seemed like an old fashioned duel, the winner isnt always the one who starts it.

If a summons has about thirty paragraphs and about 18 are devoted to this one particular document, as well as two causes of action, And it can be shown that this one particular document is not a valid document, then i would assume the premise of those 18 paragraphs could come into serious question. If it can be determined that the document is not filled out the way it legally needs to be based on government rules, then can a summary judgment can be sought to rule against those two causes of action? Or do you go paragraph by paragraph?
Hi again.

If a cause of action is based upon the validity of a certain document, and it is undisputed that the document is invalid, then summary judgment can be won as to that cause of action.

However, if the validity of the document is disputed, and that dispute is based upon factual arguments rather than legal arguments, then summary judgment would not likely be granted. For example, let's say the document in question is a will, and there is a dispute as to whether the decedent signed it, or whether his signature was forged. That is a factual dispute, and summary judgment would not be appropriate because the facts will need to be fleshed out in a trial. On the other hand, let's say there is no question that the will was signed by the decedent, but that judge one witness signed it rather than two. If the parties disagree as to the validity of a will witnessed by just one person, then that is a legal dispute. There is no need for a trial because the judge can rule immediately as to whether a will needs one witness or two witnesses in order to be valid. So, summary judgment would possibly be appropriate.

Does that make sense?
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