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Rule 166a. Summary Judgment (1950)


(a) For Claimant. A party seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain a declaratory judgment may, at any time after the adverse party has appeared or answered, move with or without supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or any part thereof.

(b) For Defending Party. A party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory judgment is sought may, at any time, move with or without supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in his favor as to all or any part thereof.

(c) Motion and Proceedings Thereon. The motion shall be served at least ten days before the time specified for the hearing. The adverse party prior to the day of hearing may serve opposing affidavits. The judgment sought shall, be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, deposi­tions, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that, except as to the amount of damages, 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.

(d) Case Not Fully Adjudicated on Motion. If on motion under this rule judgment is not rendered upon the whole case or for all the relief asked and a trial is necessary, the court at the hearing of the motion, by examining the pleadings and the evidence before it and by interrogating counsel, shall if practicable ascertain what material facts exist without substantial controversy and what material facts are actually and in good faith controverted. It shall thereupon make an order specifying the facts that appear without substantial controversy, including the extent to which the amount of damages or other relief is not in controversy, and directing such further proceedings in the action as are just. Upon the trial of the action the facts so specified shall be deemed established, and the trial shall be conducted accordingly.

(e) Form of Affidavits; Further Testimony. Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein. Sworn or certi­fied copies of all papers or parts thereof referred to in an affidavit shall be attached thereto or served therewith. The court may permit affidavits to be supplemented or opposed by depositions or by further affidavits.

(f) When Affidavits Are Unavailable. Should it appear from the affidavits of a party opposing the motion that he cannot for reasons stated present by affidavit facts essential to justify his opposition, the court may refuse the application for judgment or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or deposi­tions to be taken or discovery to be had or may make such other order as is just.

(g) Affidavits Made in Bad Faith. Should it appear to the satisfaction of the court at any time that any of the affidavits presented pursuant to this rule are presented in bad faith or solely for the pur­pose of delay, the court shall forthwith order the party employing them to pay to the other party the amount of the reasonable expenses which the filing of the affidavits caused him to incur, including reasonable attorney's fees, and any offending party or attorney may be adjudged guilty of contempt.

Source: Federal Rule 56, as originally promulgated, except that the following wording in subdivision (a) has been eliminated: "pleading in answer thereto has been served"; and in its place the following language has been substituted: "adverse party has appeared or answered.”

New rule.

Oct. 12, 1949, eff. March 1, 1950.


Oct. 1, 1951, eff. March 1, 1952

July 20, 1966, eff. Jan. 1, 1967

July 21, 1970, eff. Jan. 1, 1971

July 11, 1977, eff. Jan. 1, 1978

June 10, 1980, eff. Jan.1 , 1981

Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984

July 15, 1987 eff. Jan. 1, 1988

April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990

Aug. 15, 1997, eff. Sept. 1, 1997