SUMMARY JUDGMENT – Amended August 1, 2013
(a) Unless the Court orders otherwise, no party shall file a motion for summary judgment without first seeking a pre-motion conference. The request for a pre-motion conference shall be made by letter, filed with the Court, on the docket of the case, and served on all other parties setting forth the issues to be presented in the motion and the grounds for relief. Unless the Court otherwise directs, the letter shall not exceed two pages in length.
(b) Upon any motion for summary judgment pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 7056, there shall be annexed to the motion a separate, short, and concise statement, in numbered paragraphs, of the material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue to be tried. Failure to submit the statement shall constitute grounds for denial of the motion.
(c) Papers opposing a motion for summary judgment shall include a correspondingly numbered paragraph responding to each numbered paragraph in the statement of the moving party, and if necessary, additional paragraphs containing a separate, short, and concise statement of additional material facts as to which it is contended that there is a genuine issue to be tried.
(d) Each numbered paragraph in the statement of material facts required to be served by the moving party shall be deemed admitted for purposes of the motion unless specifically controverted by a correspondingly numbered paragraph in the statement required to be served by the opposing party.
(e) Each statement by the movant or opponent pursuant to subdivisions (b) or (c) of this rule, including each statement controverting any statement of material fact by a movant or opponent, shall be followed by citation to evidence which would be admissible.
Subdivision (a) of this rule was added in 2004 because motions for summary judgment are frequently burdensome, in time and expense, for the Court and the parties. Parties frequently file motions for summary judgment when an objective examination would reveal triable issues of fact or when the Court might conclude that it would be more cost-effective to resolve all issues at trial, given that most trials in bankruptcy court are bench trials.
Subdivision (a) provides the Court with an opportunity to notify the parties of its observations at a pre-motion conference. The rule does not limit a party’s right to file a motion for summary judgment after the pre-motion conference.
Subdivisions (b) through (e) of this rule are derived from Former Local Bankruptcy Rule 13(h) and are an adaptation of Civil Rule 56.1 of the Local District Rules. The statement of material facts shall be sufficiently complete to permit the Court to render judgment on the claim or defense. These subdivisions were amended in 2004 to conform with the 2004 amendments to Local District Rule 56.1. Compare Local Bankruptcy Rule 7052-1 (Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law).
This rule was amended in 2013 to impose a page limit on any letter requesting a pre-motion conference as a prerequisite for filing a motion for summary judgment. This limit will produce greater efficiency and will prevent parties from extensive briefing of issues in the letter requesting a pre-motion conference.