Std. of Review: Summary Judgment on Appeal

The standards for reviewing a circuit court’s entry of summary judgment are well-established and were concisely summarized by this Court in Lewis v. B & R Corp., 56 S.W.3d 432 (Ky. App. 2001):

The standard of review on appeal when a trial court grants a motion for summary judgment is “whether the trial court correctly found that there were no genuine issues as to any material fact and that the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The trial court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and summary judgment should be granted only if it appears impossible that the nonmoving party will be able to produce evidence at trial warranting a judgment in his favor. The moving party bears the initial burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists, and then the burden shifts to the party opposing summary judgment to present “at least some affirmative evidence showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.”

Id. at 436 (Internal footnotes and citations omitted). Because summary judgments involve no fact finding, we review the circuit court’s decision de novo. 3D Enters. Contr. Corp. v. Louisville & Jefferson County Metro. Sewer Dist., 174 S.W.3d 440, 445 (Ky. 2005); Blevins v. Moran, 12 S.W.3d 698, 700 (Ky. App. 2000).

FROM:
GRAFTON (MICHAEL J.), ET AL.
VS.
SHIELDS MINI MARKETS, INC.
OPINION REVERSING AND REMANDING
LAMBERT (SENIOR STATUS JUDGE) (PRESIDING JUDGE)
CAPERTON (CONCURS) AND WINE (CONCURS)
2009-CA-001862-MR
TO BE PUBLISHED
NELSON 1/14/2011

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SUMMARY JUDGMENT REVIEW ON APPEAL:

“The standard of review on appeal of a summary judgment is whether the trial court correctly found that there were no genuine issues as to any material fact and that the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Scifres v. Kraft, 916 S.W.2d 779, 781 (Ky. App. 1996).

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Clark v. Hectus & Strause,  Published, COA 2/25/2011

The standards for reviewing a trial court’s entry of summary judgment are well-established and were concisely summarized by this Court in Lewis v. B & R Corp., 56 S.W.3d 432 (Ky. App. 2001):
The standard of review on appeal when a trial court grants a motion for summary judgment is “whether the trial court correctly found that there were no genuine issues as to any material fact and that the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The trial court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and summary judgment should be granted only if it appears impossible that the nonmoving party will be able to produce evidence at trial warranting a judgment in his favor. The moving party bears the initial burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists, and then the burden shifts to the party opposing summary judgment to present “at least some affirmative evidence showing that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.”
Id. at 436 (Internal footnotes and citations omitted). Because summary judgments involve no fact finding, we review the trial court’s decision de novo. 3D Enters. Contr. Corp. v. Louisville & Jefferson County Metro. Sewer Dist., 174 S.W.3d 440, 445 (Ky. 2005); Blevins v. Moran, 12 S.W.3d 698, 700 (Ky. App. 2000).

Here is some language from the Lewis v. B & R Corp decision that was not referenced and might be useful:

 The trial court “must examine the evidence, not to decide any issue of fact, but to discover if a real issue exists.” While the Court in Steelvest[, Inc. v. Scansteel Service Center, Inc., 807 S.W.2d 476, 480 (Ky. 1991),] used the word “impossible” in describing the strict standard for summary judgment, the Supreme Court later stated that that word was “used in a practical sense, not in an absolute sense.” Because summary judgment involves only legal questions and the existence of any disputed material issues of fact, an appellate court need not defer to the trial court’s decision and will review the issue de novo. [Citations in footnotes omitted.]

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