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Summary Judgment Proceedings – Part 1

Summary judgment can be sought in certain circumstances when an action is defended, that is, when the person being sued gives notice that he disputes the Plaintiff claim and wants to defend himself and state his case. It is a remedy which is pursued by a Plaintiff seeking speedy judgment at an early stage without the delay and expense of a trial.

 

Summary judgment may only be used as an extraordinary remedy used by a Plaintiff for a claim that is based on a debt or liquidated demand and is of a drastic nature because it essentially closes the door for the Defendant.

 

Summary judgment as a remedy will be accorded only to a Plaintiff who has, in effect, an unimpeachable and unanswerable case.

 

Definitions:

 

Plaintiff:       

The person who brings a case against another in a court of law.

 

Defendant:

An individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law.

 

Debt or liquidated demand:

A debt is liquidated where it is admitted or where the monetary value is capable of being calculated mathematically.

 

It is a claim for a fixed or definite thing, as, for example:

  1. A claim for transfer
  2. Ejectment
  3. For the delivery of goods
  4. For rendering an account by a partner
  5. For the cancellation of a contract.

 

Purpose of Summary Judgment:

Summary Judgment procedure is designed to enable a Plaintiff whose claim falls within certain defined categories to obtain judgment without the necessity of going to trial, in spite of the fact that an intention to raise a defence has been given.

The main objective of the procedure is to enable a Plaintiff with a clear case and where a proper defence is lacking it can be disposed of without needing to wait for judgment to be obtained and to save costs for the Plaintiff because there will be no need to go to Court for a trial.

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