Legal Standard: motion for summary judgment

The purpose of summary judgment is to identify and dispose of factually unsupported claims and defenses. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 323–24106 S.Ct. 254891 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).

Summary judgment is therefore appropriate if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

“A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion,” and can do so in either of two ways: by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials”; or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).

“A fact is ‘material’ when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. A ‘genuine issue’ of material fact arises if ‘the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.’ ” Thrifty Oil Co. v. Bank of Am. Nat’l Trust & Sav. Ass’n,322 F.3d 1039, 1046 (9th Cir.2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,477 U.S. 242, 248106 S.Ct. 250591 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)). 

Conversely, where the evidence could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, no genuine issue exists for trial. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,475 U.S. 574, 587106 S.Ct. 134889 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986) (citing First Nat’l Bank v. Cities Serv. Co.,391 U.S. 253, 28988 S.Ct. 157520 L.Ed.2d 569 (1968)).

The moving party has the burden of persuading the court as to the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548;Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods.,454 F.3d 975, 987 (9th Cir.2006).

The moving party may do so with affirmative evidence or by “ ‘showing’—that is, pointing out to the district court—that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325, 106 S.Ct. 2548. 

Once the moving party satisfies its burden, the nonmoving party cannot simply rest on the pleadings or argue that any disagreement or “metaphysical doubt” about a material issue of fact precludes summary judgment. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548;Matsushita Elec.,475 U.S. at 586106 S.Ct. 1348;Cal. Architectural Bldg. Prods., Inc. v. Franciscan Ceramics, Inc.,818 F.2d 1466, 1468 (9th Cir.1987). 

The nonmoving party must instead set forth “significant probative evidence” in support of its position. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass’n,809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.1987) (quoting First Nat’l,391 U.S. at 29088 S.Ct. 1575).

Summary judgment will thus be granted against a party who fails to demonstrate facts sufficient to establish an element essential to his case when that party will ultimately bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548.

When evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the court must construe all evidence and reasonable inferences drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See T.W. Elec. Serv.,809 F.2d at 630–31

Accordingly, if “reasonable minds could differ as to the import of the evidence,” summary judgment will be denied. Anderson,477 U.S. at 250–51106 S.Ct. 2505. Turner v. Haw. First Inc., 903 F. Supp. 2d 1037, 1042-44 (D. Haw. 2012)