Court Refuses to Issue Writ of Mandamus to Revive Untimely Summary Judgment Motion

As a general rule, the Alabama Supreme Court may review the denial of a motion for summary judgment when the basis for the motion is a claim of State-agent immunity.  Although the defendants based their summary judgment motion on State-agent immunity in this case, the Court refused to review the  denial of the motion because the trial court’s decision was based on the fact that the defendants filed the motion months after it was due under the court’s sceduling order.   Ex parte Sawyer & Finch, Nos. 1051249 & 1051304 (Ala. October 26, 2007).

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Evidence must be viewed in light most favorable to plaintiff when reviewing summary judgment.

It is black letter law that , on summary judgment, the reviewing court "must review the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and must resolve all reasonable doubts against the movant."  This rule was front and center in Ex parte Patel, No. 1060897 (Ala. Oct. 5, 2007).   The Supreme Court found that both the trial court and the Court of Civil Appeals had failed to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, and thus reversed the granting of summary judgment.  Click here to see the case and the application of this basic, yet important, rule.