Summary judgment is proper when the resolution of a case hinges on a question of law and the moving party's right to judgment is clear and free from doubt. In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must consider the affidavits, depositions, admissions, exhibits, and pleadings on file and has a duty to construe the evidence strictly against the movant and liberally in favor of the nonmoving party. The motion will be granted if the court finds there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. A triable issue of fact exists where there is a dispute as to material facts or where the material facts are undisputed but reasonable persons might draw different inferences from those facts. In a case involving summary judgment, a reviewing court reviews the evidence in the record de novo.
Promissee claimed that it was entitled to specific performance after defendant promissor failed to convey a parcel of real estate as promised. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant. On appeal, the court reversed and remanded.
Did the trial court err in granting summary judgment?
The court agreed and held that triable issues of fact existed. The court found that promissor was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the purported repudiation by promissee would not have constituted a clearly implied threat of nonperformance. It was insufficient to constitute a repudiation under well-settled Illinois law. Moreover, even if promissee had repudiated the contract, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because it timely retracted its repudiation. Applying the actual common-law rule promissee's letter, which clearly and unambiguously indicated it intended to perform under the contract, dispelled any and all theories that anticipatory breach would occur.