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Rule 166a. Summary Judgment (1952)


(a) For Claimant. A party seeking to recover upon a claim, counter-claim, 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. A summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on the issue of li­ability alone although there is a genuine issue as to amount of damages.

(b) For Defending Party. A party against whom a claim, counter-claim, 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.

Amended by order of Oct. 10, 1951, eff. March 1, 1952 : The last sentence is added to paragraph (a).

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 12, 1949, eff. March 1, 1950 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