thomas j

7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Plaintiffs sought Summary Judgment of part of their Claim against the Defendants; specifically, the Claims in respect of an easement registered by one of the Defendants against lands in which the Plaintiffs had an interest. The Defendants cross-applied for Summary Dismissal of the Claims as against them.

Thomas J. remarked that, in determining whether to grant an Application for Summary Judgment, Courts must consider whether a Claim (or Defence) has merit. The concept of merit is linked to the concept of a “genuine issue for trial”. His Lordship further noted that there is no obligation to hear oral evidence when a Chambers Judge can make a fair and just determination on the merits of an Application. Finally, Justice Thomas noted that, while a Chambers Judge cannot weigh conflicting evidence, Summary Judgment nonetheless remains available in the face of evidence that clashes if Judgment can be granted on the facts set out by the non-moving party.

Justice Thomas reviewed the evidence relevant to the Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Application in detail and determined that the portion of the Plaintiffs’ Claim against the Defendants dealing with the Easement could be dealt with by way of Summary Judgment. The Court found there was no merit to the Defendants’ Defence with respect to the easement, and no genuine issue for which a Trial was necessary. The Plaintiffs’ Summary Judgment Application was granted, and the Defendants’ Cross-Application for Summary Dismissal was denied.

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