Rule 1035.2. Motion.
After the relevant pleadings are closed, but within such time as not to unreasonably delay trial, any party may move for summary judgment in whole or in part as a matter of law
(1) whenever there is no genuine issue of any material fact as to a necessary element of the cause of action or defense which could be established by additional discovery or expert report, or
(2) if, after the completion of discovery relevant to the motion, including the production of expert reports, an adverse party who will bear the burden of proof at trial has failed to produce evidence of facts essential to the cause of action or defense which in a jury trial would require the issues to be submitted to a jury.
Rule 1035.2 sets forth the general principle that a motion for summary judgment is based on an evidentiary record which entitles the moving party to judgment as a matter of law.
The evidentiary record may be one of two types. Under subdivision (1), the record shows that the material facts are undisputed and, therefore, there is no issue to be submitted to a jury.
An example of a motion under subdivision (1) is a motion supported by a record containing an admission. By virtue of the admission, no issue of fact could be established by further discovery or expert report.
Under subdivision (2), the record contains insufficient evidence of facts to make out a prima facie cause of action or defense and, therefore, there is no issue to be submitted to a jury. The motion in this instance is made by a party who does not have the burden of proof at trial and who does not have access to the evidence to make a record which affirmatively supports the motion. To defeat this motion, the adverse party must come forth with evidence showing the existence of the facts essential to the cause of action or defense.
Oral testimony alone, either through testimonial affidavits or depositions, of the moving party or the moving partys witnesses, even if uncontradicted, is generally insufficient to establish the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Nanty-Glo v. American Surety Co., 163 A. 523 (Pa. 1932); Penn Center House, Inc. v. Hoffman, 553 A.2d 900 (Pa. 1989).
Only the pleadings between the parties to the motion for summary judgment must be closed prior to filing the motion.
In asbestos litigation, a motion for summary judgment filed by one defendant alleging a ground common to one or more other defendants is deemed filed on behalf of all such defendants. See Rule 1041.1(f).
Partial summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on one or more issues of liability, defense or damages.
Rule 239.7 requires every court to promulgate Local Rule 1035.2(a) describing the local court procedure governing motions for summary judgment.
The provisions of this Rule 1035.2 adopted February 14, 1996, effective July 1, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 862; amended October 24, 2003, effective 9 months after the date of the Order, 33 Pa.B. 5506; amended November 2, 2005, effective immediately, 35 Pa.B. 6318; amended June 28, 2016, effective August 1, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 3797. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (366153) to (366154).
No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.
This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.