What is the Difference: Motion to Dismiss vs Motion for Summary Judgment
Typically, a defendant has two opportunities to get rid of a lawsuit before it goes to trial. The first is a motion to dismiss, which is filed shortly after a complaint is filed. The second is a motion for summary judgment, typically filed after discovery is completed.
A motion to dismiss essentially asserts that the plaintiff has failed to state a viable cause of action. Typical examples are where a plaintiff fails to (or cannot) set forth all of the necessary elements of a claim or misses the statute of limitations.
The motion for summary judgment is typically filed after the parties have completed discovery (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, document demands, etc.). A motion for summary judgment will be granted where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. If there is a dispute as to any material fact, the court is bound to side with the “non-moving party” (typically the plaintiff) on any such dispute. Also, the court doesn't make any judgments about who is more believable – that is left to the jury.
Release Time: 2019-11-19 08:44:10
A defendant’s chances of winning a motion for summary judgment are considerably greater than on a motion to dismiss. If the motion for summary judgment fails, the complaint survives and the case proceeds to trial.