B. Little & Company, Inc. v. Choi Wai Printing (Hong Kong) Limited
5/31/23, Per Curiam (Warner, Ciklin, and Forst)
Topics: Summary Judgment
The trial court erred in holding that it had no choice but to rule for the defendant on summary judgment where the plaintiff failed to file a response to the summary judgment motion. The judge expressly stated they had no alternative but to grant the motion in light of the lack of response. Rule 1.510(c)(5) makes the filing of a response mandatory, but the penalty is that the court may grant the motion if the lack of dispute of the facts means that the movant is entitled to summary judgment, but it may also do any of the other things under Rule 1.510(e). Those include:
- give an opportunity to properly support or address the fact;
- consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion;
- grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials—including the facts considered undisputed—show that the movant is entitled to it; or
- issue any other appropriate order.
Because the trial court stated it had no choice but to grant the motion, the order granting summary judgment was reversed and remanded.