The defendant moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claims based on the statute of limitations. To show the accrual date, the defendant attached several documents to his motion. But the defendant’s motion did not specifically identify where the evidence was in those documents. Did this meet the summary judgment requirement that a party must specifically identify its proof in the motion?
According to the Amarillo Court of Appeals, in West v. Hamilton, the answer is "no." The court held that generally referencing documentary evidence in a motion does not relieve the movant from the duty to direct the trial court and the non-movant specifically to where the issues are located in those documents, even if the documents are not voluminous.
The specificity requirement directs the movant to provide "fair notice" of the summary judgment contentions and refer the court and parties to the evidence on which the movant is relying for judgment. Because the defendant in this case failed to specifically direct the court and the plaintiff to the evidence he relied on to prove the accrual date, his summary judgment victory in the trial court was reversed on appeal.