Motion for Summary Judgment

Definition.  A request for a decision by a court of the matters submitted to it, based upon legal arguments only, where no material facts are in dispute.

A motion for summary judgment can be granted to resolve disputes involving legal interpretation, but not disputes regarding material facts.  Summary judgment, generally, is a pre-trial remedy sought where, based upon facts not in dispute, and an application of the law to those facts, a party is entitled to a judgment on a claim.  The judge cannot decide disputed facts in a summary judgment proceeding.  If any facts material to a claim are disputed, then summary judgment cannot be granted on that claim.

Summary judgment proceedings are governed by Rule 56, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Rule 56. Summary Judgment

"A party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory judgment is sought may, at any time, move ... for a summary judgment in the party's favor as to all or any part thereof.  The judgment sought shall 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 a judgment as a matter of law."