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Rule 56. Summary Judgment

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
VII. Judgment
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 56
Rule 56. Summary Judgment
(a) Motion for Summary Judgment or Partial Summary Judgment. A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense--or the part of each claim or defense--on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment if the moving party shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
(b) Time to File a Motion.
(1) Claimant. A claimant may move for summary judgment only after:
(A) the date when a responsive pleading is due from the party against whom summary judgment is sought; or
(B) the filing of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss or a summary judgment motion by the party against whom summary judgment is sought.
(2) Other Parties. Any other party may move for summary judgment at any time after the action is commenced.
(3) Filing Deadline. A summary judgment motion may not be filed later than the dispositive motion deadline set by the court or local rule, or absent such a deadline, 90 days before the date set for trial.
(c) Procedures.
(1) Hearings. On timely request by any party, the court must set oral argument, unless it determines that the motion should be denied or the motion is uncontested. The court may set oral argument even if not requested.
(2) Opposition and Reply. An opposing party must file its response and any supporting materials within 30 days after the motion is served. The moving party must serve any reply memorandum and supporting materials 15 days after the response is served.
(3) Supporting and Opposing Statements of Fact.
(A) Moving Party's Statement. The moving party must set forth, in a statement separate from the supporting memorandum, the specific facts relied on in support of the motion. The facts must be stated in concise, numbered paragraphs. The statement must cite the specific part of the record where support for each fact may be found.
(B) Opposing Party's Statement. An opposing party must file a statement in the form prescribed by Rule 56(c)(3)(A), specifying:
(i) the numbered paragraphs in the moving party's statement that are disputed; and
(ii) those facts that establish a genuine dispute or otherwise preclude summary judgment in favor of the moving party.
(C) Joint Statement. In addition or as an alternative to submitting separate statements under Rule 56(c)(3)(A) and (B), the moving and opposing parties may file a joint statement in the form prescribed by this rule, setting forth those facts that are undisputed. The joint statement may provide that any stipulation of fact is not binding for any purpose other than the summary judgment motion.
(4) Objections to Evidence. Rule 7.1(f)(3) governs objections to the admissibility of evidence on summary judgment motions, but an objection may be included in a party's response to another party's separate statement of facts in place of, or in addition to, including it in the party's responsive memorandum. Any objection presented in the party's response to the separate statement of facts must be stated concisely.
(5) Affidavits. An affidavit used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant is competent to testify on the matters stated. If an affidavit refers to a document or part of a document, a properly authenticated copy must be attached to or served with the affidavit.
(6) Other Materials. Affidavits may be supplemented or opposed by deposition excerpts, interrogatory responses, admissions, additional affidavits, or other materials that would be admissible in evidence.
(d) When Facts Are Unavailable to the Opposing Party; Request for Rule 56(d) Relief; Expedited Hearing.
(1) Requirements. If an opposing party cannot present evidence essential to justify its opposition, it may file a request for relief and expedited hearing. The request must be titled: “Request for Rule 56(d) Relief and for Expedited Hearing.” The request must be accompanied by:
(A) a supporting affidavit establishing specific and adequate grounds for the request and addressing, if applicable, the following:
(i) the particular evidence beyond the party's control;
(ii) the location of the evidence;
(iii) what the party believes the evidence will reveal;
(iv) the methods to be used to obtain it;
(v) an estimate of the amount of time the additional discovery will require; and
(B) a good faith consultation certificate complying with Rule 7.1(h).
(2) Effect. Unless the court orders otherwise, a request for relief under Rule 56(d)(1) does not by itself extend the date for an opposing party to file its responsive memorandum and separate statement of facts under Rule 56(c).
(3) Responses to Request. Unless the court orders otherwise, the party moving for summary judgment is not required to respond to a Rule 56(d) request for relief. If such a party elects to file a response, it must be filed no later than two days before any hearing scheduled to consider the requested relief.
(4) Expedited Hearing. The court must hold an expedited hearing, in person or by telephone, within 7 days after a request is filed in compliance with Rule 56(d)(1). If the court's calendar does not allow a hearing within 7 days, the court should set a hearing date at the earliest available time allowed by the court's calendar.
(5) Relief. When a request is filed in compliance with Rule 56(d)(1), the court may, after holding a hearing:
(A) defer considering the summary judgment motion and allow time to obtain affidavits or to take discovery before a response to the motion is required;
(B) deny the requested relief and require a response to the summary judgment motion by a date certain; or
(C) issue any other appropriate order.
(e) Failing to Properly Oppose a Motion. When a summary judgment motion is made and supported as provided in this rule, an opposing party may not rely merely on allegations or denials of its own pleading. The opposing party must, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, set forth specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. If the opposing party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against that party.
(f) Judgment Independent of the Motion. After giving notice and a reasonable time to respond, the court may:
(1) grant summary judgment for a nonmoving party;
(2) grant summary judgment on grounds not raised by a party; or
(3) consider summary judgment on its own after identifying for the parties material facts that may not be genuinely in dispute.
(g) Declining to Grant All the Requested Relief. If the court does not grant all the relief requested by the motion, or if judgment is not rendered on the whole case under Rule 56(f), the court may enter an order identifying any material fact--including an item of damages or other relief--that is not genuinely in dispute and treating the fact as established in the case.
(h) Affidavit Submitted in Bad Faith. If a Rule 56 affidavit is submitted in bad faith or solely for delay, the court--after notice and a reasonable time to respond--may order the submitting party to pay the other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred as a result, or may impose other appropriate sanctions.

Credits

Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Editors' Notes

COMMENT
2017 Amendments
Rule 56 was amended in significant respects in 2013. The 2013 amendments adopted some of the 2007 federal stylistic revisions, while retaining other unique aspects of Arizona's rule (such as the provisions of subdivision (c)(3) governing supporting and opposing statements of fact, which have no counterpart in FRCP 56). The 2017 amendments retain the substance of the 2013 amendments, but propose additional stylistic changes to simplify and clarify the rule. Some of the subdivisions of the current rule are reordered to conform to the structure of Federal Rule 56.
In addition to stylistic improvements, subdivision (c)(2) is modified to eliminate provisions governing stipulated or court-ordered extensions of briefing schedules. Those provisions of the former rule predated the adoption of Rule 7.1(g), which now provides uniform procedures governing and limiting the extension of briefing schedules on motions. Rule 7.1(g)'s provisions apply to motions for summary judgment under Rule 56. The structure of Rule 56(c)(3) is modified to add subdivisions and headings, consistent with the federal rule stylistic conventions. Former subdivisions (e)(1) and (e)(2), governing affidavits, are moved to subdivisions (c)(5) and (c)(6), respectively, to conform more closely to the federal rule's structure.
Subdivision (f) of the former rule is moved to subdivision (d), to conform to the federal rule's structure. The revised rule now incorporates into the rule's text the specificity requirements set forth in Arizona case law for obtaining a continuance to conduct additional discovery, as set forth in Simon v. Safeway, Inc., 217 Ariz. 330, 173 P.3d 1031 (App. 2007). See Rule 56 (d)(1)(A) (identifying five factors that must be addressed, if applicable, in an affidavit supporting a Rule 56(d) request).
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 56, AZ ST RCP Rule 56
The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 3/1/20. All other state court rules are current with amendments received through 2/15/20.
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