If the judge has just ruled in my favor against a plaintiff’s summary judgement, does this mean that the case is closed?

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If the judge has just ruled in my favor against a plaintiff’s summary judgement, does this mean that the case is closed?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, it does not mean that. Summary judgment is only granted when all the evidence adduced or provided to that point in the case (e.g. an written documents, police reports if applicable, affidavits or certifications by parties, etc.) is so clearly in favor of the moving party's case that no rational jury or judge could possible find for the other party. Basically it means the case was a slam dunk for the moving party. If summary judgment is denied, all that means is that the case is not a slam dunk--either there is some evidence for the other party, or there's no enough evidence yet to prove the moving party's case. It doesn't mean that the moving party--here, the plaintiff--can't win; just that he or she can't win yet, without a trial. Denial of summary judgment means the case goes on.


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