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Lucy, Esq.
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In a civil defamation case, what is the process of filing for

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In a civil defamation case, what is the process of filing for a summary judgment? I am a student that just won a scholarship to study abroad and got suggested to file for summary judgment. I'm being sued for a facebook blog similar to a long but tasteful Yelp review. I noted in my response to the complaint that it's "truth" and "fair comment and criticism" in good faith. I live in Hawaii.

What are the steps for this, and is it doable by myself? Surely I can find a template online if it isn't too much trouble. I have all the evidence on-hand. Is there a specific way to organize the evidence (If you have a related link, I can look at this myself) to prove it's truth? If I filed for a jury (paid the $200, filed the docs, and mentioned Jury in complaint response), anything else special I need to do (or does having jury defeat the purpose? Well it's there if it's a better option. I can just brush off the $200 jury if it'll get this thing over with).


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

The standard for filing a Motion for Summary Judgment is that there are no material disputes regarding any of the facts relevant to the statement, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In the context of a defamation action, that means producing undisputed evidence that the statements were either absolutely true or matters of your opinion. If the business is disputing the factual claims in your review, you unfortunately would probably not be able to get summary judgment. The judge isn't allowed to weigh evidence at this stage of the process. He can only look at your affidavit saying "Here's what happened," and theirs saying that it didn't.

Motions for Summary Judgment are unfortunately highly fact-specific, so there aren't any forms. You may be able to find some examples on the internet, but you would have to draft the motion yourself. It is something you can do by visiting a law library and looking for books on both defamation and summary judgment.

The way to show the veracity of evidence is to draft an affidavit, where you swear under oath as to the facts stated in your motion (related to the review), and that each piece of evidence is a true and accurate representation of what it is supposed to be. If you had other people with you at the business, you can attach separate affidavits from each person. The company will be able to present their own, opposing affidavits.

In Summary Judgment, there is no jury. The jury's job is to determine the facts of what happened, and Summary Judgment is only allowed where there aren't any facts that need to be decided. So, you won't ever see the jury if you win, but the fact that you requested a jury doesn't mean that you can't file for Summary Judgment. If the motion is denied, you'll still get a jury trial.

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