They seem seem to be the same thing but they are two separate motions. What is the difference between the two and when is it better to use one over the other.
3211 is basically saying even if everything in the complaint is true the case should still be dismissed because the allegations do not make out a cause of action.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 19 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Summary judgment should wait until after disclosure, when the argument becomes, "even with all the known evidence, no trial is necessary because the case is clear" (either for plaintiff or defendant, depending on the evidence and who is making the motion).
I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon free legal advice, and I disclaim any liability for the outcome if you do. Any opinions offered on matters outside New York State are for general informational purposes only.
The difference between the two is significant. A motion for judgment on the pleadings, or a motion to dismiss before fact discovery, is directed to the allegations in the complaint, not to any evidence. Such a motion challenges whether the plaintiff has stated a plausible claim for which relief can be granted. The court only considers the allegations in the complaint and any documents cited to or referred to in the complaint. In short, the court accepts as true each and every allegation made by the plaintiff and limits its inquiry to the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's claim.
By contrast, a motion for summary judgment is directed to the evidence. In this regard, the court searches the record and assesses the sufficiency of the parties' evidence. In effect, the court considers whether there are issues of material fact in dispute requiring a trial.
The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.
A judgment on the pleadings is essentially a motion to dismiss but under the federal courts standards.
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