Summary Judgement In Oklahoma
Summary judgment proceedings are governed by Rule 13, Rules for District Courts, 12 O.S. Supp. 1993, Ch. 2, App.1.
We will not reverse a grant of summary judgment where the record on appeal establishes no substantial controversy of material fact and that the prevailing party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Brown v. Alliance Real Estate Group, 1999 OK 7, 976 P.2d 1043, 1045.
Summary judgment is not proper where reasonable minds could draw different inferences or conclusions from the undisputed facts. Id.
Further, we must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment. Vance v. Fed. Natl. Mortg. Assn., 1999 OK 73, 988 P.2d 1275. the facts of the instant case are not in dispute.
The Supreme Court's pronouncements upon the standards of review for summary judgments provide a clear message that a party moving for summary judgment carries a heavy burden to justify granting the motion.
In addition, the Court has instructed that the Pleading Code does not require detail but rather a "short and plain statement of the claim." 12 O.S. 1991, 2008(A); Niemeyer v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co., 1990 OK 32, PP5-6, 789 P.2d 1318, 1320-21.
The appellate standard of review in summary judgment is de novo. Kirkpatrick v. Chrysler Corp., 1996 OK 136, P2, 920 P.2d 122, 124. Where the facts are not disputed an appeal presents only a question of law.
Baptist Building Corp. v. Barnes, 1994 OK CIV APP 71, P5, 874 P.2d 68, 69. the appellate court has the plenary, independent, and nondeferential authority to reexamine a trial court's legal rulings. Neil Acquisition, L.L.C. v. Wingrod Investment Corp., 1996 OK 125, 932 P.2d 1100, n. 1.
Matters involving legislative intent present questions of law which are examined independently and without deference to the trial court's ruling. Salve Regina College v. Russell, 499 U.S. 225, 111 S. Ct. 1217, 113 L. Ed. 2d 190 (1991); Keizor v. Sand Springs Ry. Co., 1993 OK CIV APP 98, P5, 861 P.2d 326, 328.