Summary Judgment Factual Issue: CLAIR V. HILLENMEYER (COA 8/17/2007)

CLAIR V. HILLENMEYER
BUSINESS LAW:  REAL ESTATE AGREEMENT – Summary Judgment
2006-CA-000922
PUBLISHED: REVERSING AND REMANDING
PANEL: NICKELL PRESIDING; LAMBERT, MOORE CONCUR
COUNTY: GRANT
DATE RENDERED: 8/17/2007

In what seems to be an increasingly popular and I might add disgusting methodology for Trial Court’s to clear their docket, this Trial Court granted Summary Judgment to Hillenmyer. The Court of Appeals only found several glaring genuine issues of material fact and many other possible issues. As only one genuine issue is required and in light of the standard of reviewing the motion in light most favorable to the non-movant, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded.

in light of the contradictory evidence received by the trial court, the COA could not conclude Hillenmeyer was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.  Generalized denials that an issue exists are insufficient to eliminate a genuine issue of material fact.  In Hillenmeyer’s own words, however, “all parties were left guessing” as to what “code” was referred to in the contingency. The resolution of this question is clearly a material fact for the jury to decide in order to determine who, if anyone, breached the purchase contract, and if there was a valid defense therefor.

Digested by Paul Schurman

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