Brief Fact Summary. An action to decide whether summary judgment was appropriate to decide a case seeking the true beneficiaries in a deceased’s insurance policy.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Summary judgment is appropriate to decide a case when no triable issues of fact exist.
Issue. Whether summary judgment was appropriate to decide the case when Plaintiff sought to call a witness to help her prove her case.
Held. Summary judgment was appropriate in this case. The witness that Plaintiff sought had signed an affidavit that stated he saw the deceased change beneficiaries on the policy – a fact that helped the Defendant’s case, not the Plaintiff’s. Further, the proposed witness was out of the reach of the parties since he was in a foreign country. Judgment affirmed.
Discussion. Summary judgment is appropriate when no triable issues of fact remain in a case. The purpose is to avoid useless trials. At trial, a jury decides the facts and the judge decides the law, therefore, in summary judgments, a jury is unnecessary because no triable facts exist. As was the case here, the Plaintiff could present no triable fact over which a jury could decide a verdict.