Unsupported hearsay evidence is insufficient

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Unsupported hearsay evidence is insufficient

Postby Administrator » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:05 pm

Legal Standard for Summary Judgment


Summary judgment “shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party has the burden of proving that judgment on the pleading is appropriate. Once the moving party makes the showing, however, the opposing party must respond to the motion with “specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).


*2 When no genuine issue of any material fact exists, summary judgment is appropriate. Shealy v. Winston, 929 F.2d 1009, 1011 (4th Cir.1991). The facts and inferences to be drawn from the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. However, “the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Id. (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).


In this case, defendant “bears the initial burden of pointing to the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Temkin v. Frederick County Commrs, 845 F.2d 716, 718 (4th Cir.1991) ( citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986)). If defendant carries this burden, “the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to come forward with facts sufficient to create a triable issue of fact.” Id. at 718-19 ( citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-4Cool.


Moreover, “once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere allegations contained in the pleadings to show there is a genuine issue for trial.” Baber v. Hosp. Corp. of Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir.1992). The nonmoving party may not rely on beliefs, conjecture, speculation, of conclusory allegations to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. and Doyle v. Sentry, Inc., 877 F.Supp. 1002, 1005 (E.D.Va.1995). Rather, the nonmoving party is required to submit evidence of specific facts by way of affidavits ( see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)), depositions, interrogatories, or admissions to demonstrate the existence of a genuine and material factual issue for trial. Baber, 977 F.2d 872, citing Celotex Corp., supra. Moreover, the nonmovant's proof must meet “the substantive evidentiary standard of proof that would apply at a trial on the merits.” Mitchell v. Data Gen. Corp., 12 F.3d 1310, 1316 (4th Cir.1993); DeLeon v. St. Joseph Hosp., Inc., 871 F.2d 1229, 1223 n. 7 (4th Cir.1989). Unsupported hearsay evidence is insufficient to overcome a motion for summary judgment. Martin v. John W. Stone Oil Distrib., Inc., 819 F.2d 547 (5th Cir.1987); Evans v. Techs. Applications & Servs. Co., 875 F.Supp. 1115 (D.Md.1995).

Malone v. Greenville County
Slip Copy, 2008 WL 4458868
D.S.C.,2008.
September 30, 2008
David A. Szwak
Bodenheimer, Jones & Szwak, LLC
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