How to Vacate an Order of Summary Judgment


A default judgment is an order issued by a judge that essentially states that the judge found no question of law and that the undisputed facts of the case were sufficient to make a decision. The barriers to overcoming a summary judgment are considerably higher than a standard judgment. While the process varies from state to state, most courts will only overturn a summary judgment in the case of an oversight or evidence of a material omission.

  • Familiarize yourself with the rules of civil procedure that govern your state. In Ohio, a defendant has 14 days to provide a motion to the court with sufficient evidence why the court erred in granting the summary judgment. In New York state, the Civil Practice Rules and Law (CPRL) 5015 section A provides specific circumstances and procedures for filing a motion to vacate a summary judgment or a motion to renew.

  • Go to your local courthouse or approach a local legal resource and obtain a motion to vacate form. If you cannot locate a form, the procedure for creating your own is simple

  • Take a sheet of white paper. At the top-middle list the court name and address. Below, and to the right, list the caption as it appears in the court records. The caption is the name of the case. An example would be Jane Doe vs. Bob Doe. Across from the caption list the judge's name and case number. Below and in the middle type "Motion to Vacate Summary Judgment"

  • Complete the motion with sufficient cause listed, such as new evidence, fraud or an omission. Make copies of the motion and return a copy to the court clerk. Have your copy stamped, dated and entered into the record. Mail a copy of the motion to the opposing party by certified mail. Keep the green return receipt card when it is mailed back to you.

  • Await a decision from the court. If there is no hearing scheduled the judge will make his determination and you will be mailed a copy by the clerk's office.


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