CIVIL WEEK 8 SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROCEDURE
SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROCEDURE.
:: MEANING AND PRINCIPLES OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
Judgment given for the plaintiff without going through full trial where plaintiff/claimant has established (usually through affidavit) that defendant has no defence to his claim.
In doing so, court considers writ of summons, pleadings of parties, the application for summary judgment, affidavits, documents and written addresses where available.
Usually final and given on merit and can only be set aside on appeal except the defendant can prove fraud, non-service, or lack of jurisdiction.
Summary judgment is not the same as default judgments which are given when defendant fails to enter appearance or file pleadings and the DJ can be set aside on timeous application and in deserving circumstances.
:: TYPES OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT:
– Summary Judgment under Order 11 of the Lagos, Enugu and Rivers States’ High Court Rules: can be used for every claim once the claimant believes the defendant has no defence to his claim and states reasons for this belief in his affidavit.
The claimant will frontload his writ of summons, statement of claim, list of witnesses and witness depositions on oath, copies of documents to be relied on, affidavit, written brief and motion on notice for summary judgment.
Defendant may frontload (excluding list of witnesses) and file counter affidavit with written brief in reply to the application if he wishes to defend. Filed not later than the time prescribed for defence 42 days.
If it appears to judge that there is a good defence, he may grant leave to defend. Otherwise, judgment would be entered for the claimant with respect to the full or a part of the claim or defendants-Or 11. Summary Judgment in Lagos is on the merit and set aside by the same court only for fraud, non-service, or lack of jurisdiction. Otherwise it must be appealed UTC v Pamote, Iron Products Ltd v SAC Ltd.
– Summary Judgment under the undefended list (Order 21 Abuja): same as discussed so far only that it apples to liquidated money demands and is filed by writ of summons and affidavit.
If the judge believes there is no defence to the claim, he puts the suit down for hearing under the undefended list and judgment is given accordingly. But if the defendant can (within 5 days to the date of hearing the suit) deliver a notice of intention to defend with an affidavit disclosing defence on the merit then case can be removed from undefended list and placed on the ordinary/general cause list and court may order pleadings or proceed to hearing.
See also Also Or 23 UR, 23 Oyo, 24 Anambra, 11 Rivers, 12 FHCCPR. The claimant cannot object or appeal that a defendant was granted leave to defend Section 241 (2) CFRN. Leventis Motors Ltd v GCS Mbonu
– Consent Judgment
– Summary Judgment on admissions of facts and documents.
– Summary judgment on admission in a case management conference.
– Summary Judgment for Account in a Business Transaction Order 16 Lagos.
– Summary Judgement for Possession of Land occupied by squatters or without the owner’s consent-53 Lagos.
:: ETHICAL DUTIES OF A LAWYER IN SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROCEDURE.
 Note that where the defendant does not file any statement of defence, it would be regarded as default judgment not summary judgment on merit.
 An ascertainable sum.
 It is the judge that marks writ undefended rather than registrar.
 When a writ on Undefended list comes for the first time, it comes for hearing not mention.