From NL: how do I write a summary judgment motion and what is that?

I have to tell you, most law school grads don’t know how to write one either, so if you are pro se, don’t fret this.

The stages of litigation, for your background info are this 1) file and prepare complaint; 2) draft up written discovery to your opponent(s) which will be interrogatories (fancy word for questions), requests for documents and requests to admit; 3) get back answers (if you don’t, you have to file a motion to compel and maybe a rule to show cause); 4)  depositions of fact witnesses (you will likely need a lawyer for this, get one cheap and limit his or her representation to just your depns); 5) experts.  hire a expert if needed or helpful.  they will produce a report.  your opponent will likely then get an expert.  if there are depositions, get a lawyer, just for those, you will likely not know how to make objections and preserve testimony for trial, plus lawyers know how to ask the really incisive (annoying) questions; then you have to do your trial prep and 6) hire a lawyer for trial.

This will keep things cheap unless you can find a contingency fee lawyer.  But due to corruption in the courts, your chances of getting that are slim to none. This is because you will need an honest lawyer that can’t be paid off.  Many lawyers can be paid off (sad to say).  And your lawyer must be honest enuf they won’t every bribe anyone. So that means your opponent in the current environment will be at a disadvantage because in our current system, we don’t test for psychopaths with a PET brain scan, so your opponent will bribe, but you and your lawyer will not.  So you will often be pro se fighting a difficult system.  But we have to do it to clean up the current system. Take everything to a jury trial. Do not settle or you are just a hypocrite too.

At the first stage of the trial, and after depositions and discovery is all returned, you may wish to file a Summary Judgment Motion and/or Judgment on the Pleadings.  You can really file both, and they’re pretty much the same.  That’s two bites at the apple.  Many lawyers do not do this, but you can.

What you are saying is that your opponent found no credible evidence of anything and you are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

How to write  Summary Judgment Motion:

  1.  Write an introductory paragraph.  This will say what litigant is filing it (name and if you are plaintiff or defendant or a cross claimant, etc.) and your best reasons (use 3 to 5) of why you are entitled to Summary Judgment as a matter of Law.
  2.  Next is your “Statement of Facts”.  You do this in the following format:  “1. on X date, this happened.  2. on Y date this happened.”  You might want to include the procedure in the portion of your Motion, or you might want to do a separate “Statement of Procedure” to bring your judge up to date.  Remember you write these pleadings for an appellate judge or a new judge.  Don’t skip over facts because you think “the judge knows my case, s/he knows me”. Forget that nonsense.  The judge has 20 other cases per day, they are elderly and likely have short term memory loss and bad eyes.  Tell your story. Don’t skip this important part.  Your judge can be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease any day. Write like you are writing for the appellate court or a new judge every time you file a Motion.
  3. Motions are supposed to be in short, concise numbered paragraphs. They are short (3 to 5 pages).  Put your details and case law in a Brief to accompany the motion.  If the judge or court has a page limit, be sure to stick to that.  But most judges get tired of reading after 15 pages, so 15 pages of great concise writing is a laudable goal.
  4. Tell the court why you are entitled to Summary Judgment as a matter of law. Look at the complaint.  Do they have all the required elements of each cause of action to go to trial.  Look at your case law.  They should have pulled 2 to 3 cases at the time you prepared your complaint to find the elements for each tort.  Find cases that say they are missing one or more elements.
  5. MOST IMPORTANT.  A clear list of undisputed facts that will entitled you to summary judgment.  You can put this as an exhibit.  Make your opponent dispute this.  All you need is just ONE disputed material fact to get before your jury.  So look at the depositions and affidavits filed. Come up with your own affidavits to dispute some facts.

I have seen some really terrible SJM motions.  You have to be clear about what is undisputed. SJM’s are not favored; jury trials are.  Or at least in theory.

If you are defending a SJM, come up with disputed facts and put them in an affidavit or declaration.

Whatever court you are in (federal, state, etc.) read the rules before submitting any pleading. There are generally specific rules for Summary Judgment Motions. Read them carefully before filing your pleading.  Law is all about following rules.  Someone with a weak argument can easily win over good case law with no compliance with rules.  No compliance with rules can easily tick off a judge into oblivion and win your case.  Remember, judges are often perfectionist entities who went to law school with tons of reading and tons of deadlines and case law. they want you to be conservative about this and perfect in your pleadings.

In Illinois, always file verified pleadings.  Once one pleading is verified, your opponent must also verify pleadings.  If they don’t, ask to strike or dismiss the pleading.

Always do a Notice of Filing, a Certificate of Service and Verification at the end of your pleadings.

Good Luck

Email me if you have questions and I will be glad to do a general blog post in response.






From JB: what about criminal complaints for Probate perps?

One common question I get, is why won’t the states attorneys, police, FBI, etc. do anything about the fact that the probate court system is a large criminal enterprise where the elderly or disabled are targeted for a paid up home, cars, bank accounts, etc.  Then they are guardianized, often without notice, service, they want to fight the gship, but they either get no attorney, or the attorney is tied into the system. Then the house is sold and everything is sold, and the elderly person is forced into a nursing home, drugged with psych drugs (which are illegal and not FDA approved for the elderly) and massive attorney’s fees, courtroom vendor fees (case managers, etc.) are charged against the estate.  When that is quickly depleted, then food and water is with held and the senior quickly perishes. The body is quickly cremated to destroy all trace of chemicals and lack of food in the stomach for days.

Many ask, why aren’t these crimes prosecuted?

The reality is, that’s up to the prosecutor. Prosecutor’s have “prosecutorial discretion” which means that they are the only ones to bring criminal charges and they do this based up the evidence, how the judges respond to these types of cases with this type of evidence and how juries respond.  They have to have a criminal deft found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very, very high standard.  One reasonable doubt and the defendant must be acquitted.

In addition, if the prosecutor loses, then the defendant can sue for 42 USC 1983 deprivation of civil rights under color of authority, false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and damages can be substantial, especially if someone was harmed during the arrest.

And taxpayers pay for those cases.

Many people want to reinstitute the grand jury system or people’s grand juries where 12 or more persons decide what and whom to charge.  If they do that, the people should be trained to minimize the risk of suit against the state or US.

Finally, your prosecutor is elected.  Campaign against these prosecutors who let this happen.  Force them out of office by convincing the voters he or she is not doing their job.

You could sue the prosecutor for misfeasance or malfeasance in office if they are not doing their job and going after all criminals too.

But this basically explains the problem with criminal charges in probate in a nutshell.

From DK; this Guardian is so abusive she took away an abused ward’s library card and bicycle!

Please feel free to write or call this woman and tell her to stop her abuse of poor Douglas Keegan who is now fighting for his rights to be free of an abusive guardianship in Orange County Florida…. more to come.

5330 W. Devon Ave. #6 JoAnne Denison, Executive Director*
Chicago, IL 60646 Cell Phone 773-255-7608
ph 312-553-1300
fax 312-553-1307

November 7, 2018

Via Email heather.ramos@gray-robinson.Com

Heather Ramos
301 East Pine Street, Suite 1400
Post Office Box 3068 ( 328 0 2-3068 )
Orlando, Florida 32801
Tel 407-843-8880
Fax 407 -244 -5690

RE: In re Guardianship of Douglas Keegan 20 I 4-CP-002772-0.

Dear Ms. Ramos;

I am in receipt of a letter dated 4/24/18 which you sent to the putative “guardian” of Mr. Doug Keegan in which you 1) asserted cooperation in wrongfully terminating his library card; and 2) offered cooperation in a highly abusive guardianship case.

As you are aware, under the Rules of Professional Conduct for Florida you should be taking no such action against a person who 1) is clearly competent, knows the time, date, place who the President is, etc.; 2) had complained reasonably about his guardianship being a ruse and the guardianship has been extremely physically and emotionally abusive to Mr. Keegan. All these documents are of public record.

From the Rules of Prof. Conduct, preamble:

A lawyer’s conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.

This is to advise you that Mr. Keegan is under an abusive guardianship. Your taking action against an alleged Ward of the State of Florida who only wants to use a computer to contest his court case and read books is amazingly unethical, immoral and utterly reprehensible.

I am demanding at this time that you fully restore the rights of Mr. Keegan to full library access and treat him as the highly respected individual that he truly is.

Very Truly Yours,


JoAnne Denison
Executive Director
Justice 4 Every1, NFP

Request for aide to Ward in abusive guardianship–Man in Fla. in immediate need of bicycle

Please contact me if you can get a man in an abusive gship a bicycle. He is in Orlando.  The Guardian keeps on stealing his bicycle and selling it, so if you have a good lock, that would be great.

This man is completely competent, was working as an engineer, is extremely intelligent, and got caught up in an abusive guardianship when some attorney relative got mad at him and sucked him into the Florida gship system, which we all know is very, very corrupt.

They have sold his homes for lawyer fees, his cars and anything they could get their hands on. He is always on the run.


from JK on Facebook: Star Chambers mean no representation and self representation was banned

From James Kelly

A quote from In Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 821 – 23 (1975). The Supreme Court:

“ In the long history of the British jurisprudence there was only one tribunal that ever adopted a practice of forcing counsel upon an unwilling defendant in a criminal proceeding. The tribunal was the Star Chamber, that curious institution which flourished in the late 16th and 17th centuries, was of mixed executive and judicial character, and characteristically departed from common law traditions. For those reasons and because it specialized in trying “political” defenses, the Star Chamber has for centuries symbolized disregard for basic, individual rights. The Star Chamber not merely allowed, but required defendants to have counsel. The defendants answer to an indictment was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the defendant was considered to have confessed (See, J.Stephen, “A history of the criminal law in England”, 341-42 (1883) As Stephen commented on this procedure, “There is something especially repugnant to justice in using rules of practice in such a manner as to debar a prisoner from defending himself, especially when the object of the rules so used is to provide for his defense” (end quote)

and now rewritten:

“ In the long history of the American jurisprudence there was only one tribunal that ever adopted a practice of forcing counsel upon an unwilling person in a quasi-criminal proceeding. The tribunal was the Family Courts, that curious institution which flourished in the 20th and 21st centuries, was of mixed executive and judicial character, and characteristically departed from common law traditions. For those reasons and because it specialized in trying “psychological” defenses, the Family Courts have for decades symbolized disregard for basic, individual rights of children. The Family Courts not merely allowed, but required children to have counsel. The children’s answer to a motion was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the child was considered to have supported it (See, the millions of families that have gone through the process of a custody proceeding. As they regularly comment on this procedure, “There is something especially repugnant to justice in using rules of practice in such a manner as to debar a child from their Constitutionally protected rights, especially when the object of the rules so used is to provide for the child’s best interests” (end quote).

from YT and JO: what is it that states attorneys actually do for their pay?

We all know when we have corrupt court cases we are supposed to go to our state AGs and complain. But most of the time we just get a sigh and they’re not interested. In the case of Lisa Madigan, she not only sighs but says “we don’t do such things” when we know for a fact she is charged with such things. But then again, she’s not running I am told.

So take a look at what the John Oliver investigative team found out about state AGs