What Is Summary Dismissal?

Summary dismissal, more commonly known as summary judgment, is a ruling by a judge in a civil proceeding that disposes of a case without a trial. A judge summarily dismisses a case, or grants summary judgment, when no dispute over any material fact exists and one of the parties to the civil litigation is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Any evidence that is admissible at a trial may be included as exhibits when a party makes a motion for summary judgment in a case. A court typically schedules oral arguments when a motion for summary judgment is filed to give the parties an opportunity to more fully explain their positions.