As a noun, an abridgment; brief; compendium; digest; also a short application to a court or judge, without the formality of a full proceeding.
As an adjective, short; concise; immediate; peremptory; off-hand; without a jury; provisional; statutory. The term as used in connection with legal proceedings means a short, concise, and immediate proceeding.
A SUMMARY JUDGMENT is a final decision in a civil action that does not involve lengthy presentations of evidence. It totally circumvents the need for trial because there is no genuine issue of fact concerning specified questions in the lawsuit that must be decided. In such an action, the party who believes that she is entitled to prevail as a MATTER OF LAW makes a motion for summary judgment. In deciding such a motion, the court considers the entire record of the case and, if the evidence warrants it, can even grant a summary judgment to the party who did not ask for it. Summary judgment is governed in federal courts by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and in state courts by state codes of civil procedure.