Summary Decision 1510 Update: Florida Courts of Appeals Continue to Clarify Florida's New Standard for Summary Judgments - (2023)

Heim/blog/Summary Update 1510: Florida appellate courts continue to clarify Florida's new standard for summary judgment

Summary Update 1510: Florida appellate courts continue to clarify Florida's new standard for summary judgment

On May 1, 2021, the Florida Supreme Court revised its standard for summary judgment, amending Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1510 to align with the federal standard for summary judgment.Siehe In re Emendas à Flórida. R. Civ. S. 1.510, 309 So.3d 192, 192 (Fla. 2020) (adopting the Federal Summary Judge Standard);Regarding the changes in Fla. R. Civ. pp. 1,510, 317 Thus. 3d 72, 74 (Fla. 2021) (substantially replacing the text of existing section 1510 with the text of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56). However, despite the revision, Florida Rule 1510 and Federal Rule 56 are not identical. As discussed below, these disputes have been the subject of recent appellate decisions, which can be seen as a continuing effort by Florida courts to shape and clarify the new standard for summary judgment under Florida law.

A. Summary judgments must state the basis for granting or denying the request.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered what lower courts must do under Rule 1510(a) when they grant or deny a summary judgment motion.Ver Jones x Envolino, no. 3D21-2037, – So.3d –, 2022 WL 1560675 (Fla. 3d DCA May 18, 2022).Jonesinvolved two competing claims to the administration of a deceased person's estate. The plaintiff filed his application for administration of the deceased's will and the defendant filed his concurrent application for administration of the will, arguing that the will was invalid.I WENT. at 1. Defendant moved for summary judgment from the lower court and was granted summary judgment, stating: "After hearing all parties, the court grants the motion for summary judgment." The court issued the executive order. The court appoints Kathryn Ervolino as personal representative of the estate."I WENT. The lower court then filed a written order stating: "Catherine Ervolino's motion to execute is granted." Catherine Ervolino's motion for summary judgment is granted. Bernard Jones' amended request for administration of the estate and imposition of a constructive trust is respectfully denied."I WENT.

In reversing the lower court's decision, the Third Circuit held that the order granting summary judgment did not satisfy Rule 1510(a)'s requirement that “the court must state on the record its reasons for granting or staying judgment. " . the court distinguished Rule 1510(a) of Fed. R. Civil. P. 56(a) explains that the federal rule provides that the courthe mustState in the minutes the reasons for granting or denying the application for summary judgment. Florida Rule 1510(a) "makes clear that the court's duty in this regard is binding."I WENT. at *2 (citedAbout. changes. in Florida. Civil R. p. 1,510, 317 So.3d at 77). As to the required precision of such orders, the Court of Appeals held that judges "must take reasonable steps to ensure that the parties and appellate courts are informed of the reasons for granting or denying the motion upon which their decisions are based." Florida's new standard.I WENT.;see also In re. changes. in Florida. Civil R. p. 1,510, 317 So.3d at 77 ("To satisfy this requirement, it is not sufficient for the court to make a conclusive statement as to whether or not there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact. The court must state its reasons for decision with enough specificity to provide useful guidance to parties and, if necessary, all appellate review. The Court of Appeals also noted that the requirement for written opinions "is necessary to ensure that Florida courts meet the federal standard for summary judgment in practice and not only on paper".Jones, 2022 WL 1560675 children *2.

B. Parties May Not Rely on Prior Application Practice in Defense of a Motion for Summary Judgment. Instead, a party opposing summary judgment must file an answer. Failure to do so may have legal consequences, including a finding that the court did not dispute the facts alleged by the applicant.

Most recently, the Florida Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit considered the need to file an answer to a motion for summary judgment and the potential consequences of failing to do so under Florida law.Lloyd S. Meisels, P.A. v. Dombrowski, no. 4D21-2397, – So.3d –, 2022 WL 2057777 (Fla. 4th DCA June 8, 2022). EmchiselsPlaintiff has filed a four-count complaint alleging i) violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act ("FDUTPA"). ii) fraud; iii) unjust enrichment. and iv) breach of contract in relation to the treatment of the plaintiff's dog for the defendants, a veterinary clinic and the treating veterinarian.I WENT. a 1. Defendants moved for summary judgment and attached summary judgment exhibits, including briefs, affidavits, and a closing statement.I WENT. The plaintiff filed an objection and presented evidence.I WENT. The lower court granted the defendants' motion in part and dismissed the fraud claim in part, dismissing the fraud claims against both defendants and the breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims against the veterinarian, but dismissed the plaintiff's FDUTPA claims against both defendants and for breach of contract unjust enrichment against the hospital defendant which was left untouched.

As the trial progressed, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment, attaching various documents and his statement.I WENT. The respondents did not send a response to this request.I WENT. After a hearing, the lower court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff, finding that the defendants had failed to file an answer to the motion, and made detailed findings of fact based on the plaintiff's allegations. Defendants appealed, arguing that their motion for prior summary judgment constituted an answer within the meaning of the rule and therefore, based on the evidence presented in the motion for prior summary judgment, the lower court erred in granting plaintiff summary judgment is granted.

Defendants' appeal raises two related issues: i) whether defendants could rely on prior pleadings to satisfy the requirement to respond to a summary judgment motion; and ii) whether the lower court abused its discretion in finding the facts alleged by the plaintiff undisputed in ruling on the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

As to whether a non-moving party may rely on prior deposition practice, the Fourth Circuit focused on the language of Rule 1510(c)(5), language not offered by Fed. R. Civil. P. 56. The court found that the plain language of 1510(c)(5) "requiresthe non-participant must file an answer to the motion for summary judgment at least twenty days before the hearing[.]''.chisels, 2022 WL 2057777, at *3 (emphasis in original). The court explained that the time change was made "to reduce gambling and surprises and to permit more deliberate consideration of summary judgment motions."I WENT. (refersAbout. changes. for Fla. R.Civ. pp. 1,510, 317 So.3d at 77). The court concluded that "the word ``shall,'' as found in 1510(c)(5) ``has no scope,'' and that allowing the defendant to rely on other prior observations, ``would undermine the intent of the rule to win the party.” to take clear and detailed positions on motions for summary judgment."chisels, 2022 WL 2057777, child *3.

On the question of whether the lower court abused its discretion by affirming the plaintiff's facts as undisputed because the defendants failed to file an answer, the court of appeals reviewed Rule 1510(e), which states that a party fails to adequately consider its arguments claim of another party In a matter referred to in section 1.510(c), the court may: i) afford an opportunity to settle or properly settle the matter; ii) deem the fact undisputed for purposes of the petition; iii) grant summary judgment if the petition and accompanying evidence - including facts deemed undisputed - establish that the petitioner has standing to do so; or iv) issue any other appropriate command. Florida R.Civ. P. 1.510(e)(1)-(4).

The court concluded that there was nothing in the record to suggest that the lower court had erred in finding the facts alleged by the plaintiff in his motion for summary judgment to be undisputed.I WENT.a 4. The Fourth Circuit concluded that the lower court could have allowed the non-participant to "find or properly address the facts" under section 1510(e)(1) - and that the comments to Fed. R. Civil. At p. 56, it is said that this is the preferred first step for lower courts to take in this matter, but because defendants will not invoke Rule 1.510(e)(1) on appeal or provide the court with transcript of summary sentencing hearing Na , noting that they have addressed this issue below, the Court of Appeals found no abuse of power by the lower court. The Fourth Circuit explained that while section 1510(c)(3) allows the lower court to consider other materials in the record, it is not required to do so.I WENT.? Florida R.Civ. P. 1.510(c)(3) ("The court need only consider the cited materials, but may consider other materials in the record.").

C. Analysis

These recent Florida Court of Appeals decisions support the contention that Rule 1510 and Fed., although the federal standard for summary judgment has been widely adopted by Florida courts, do not apply. R. Civil. Page 56 contain unique differences that may affect the outcome of a case.

Nonparticipants must ensure that they provide timely responses to requests for summary judgment. To the extent a lower court finds that a nonmoving party has failed to adequately address the plaintiff's factual positions, under the rule, the nonmoving party must obtain leave of the court to do so. 1.510(e)(1). On the other hand, plaintiffs facing a non-plaintiff who fails to respond to a motion for summary judgment should look to Rule 1.510(e)(2) and (3) and expressly authorize the court to consider the facts plaintiff's uncontested and summary judgment based on these facts.

At least that's how it seemschiselsThe court's reasoning rested in part on the failure to record the hearing. This should again serve as an important reminder to practitioners to ensure that summary hearings are transcribed. A plaintiff challenging a summary judgment based on 1.510(e) and without a copy must at least file the Fla. A. Use the app. P. 9.200(b)(5) and provide the appellate court with an evidentiary or procedural statement describing the arguments presented at the summary judgment hearing.

Practitioners should also review lower court orders to ensure they meet the 1.510(a) requirement to explain the basis of the court's decision. To the extent that a lower court fails to do so, practitioners may be better served and save clients' resources by filing a motion for a new trial before filing an appeal asking the lower court to reverse the correct errors by filing a more detailed complaint to order. In short, without adequate reasoning in the lower court's decision, the losing party could face the inevitable possibility of two appeals: the first appeal against an apparently incomplete provision and the second appeal against the merits of a subsequent detailed summary judgment.

No matter which side you're on, FIDJ's experienced judges and appellate lawyers can help. The Appellate and Court Support Practice Group is led by Jeffrey J. Molinaro, B.C.S., who is a Certified Appellate Specialist in Florida. For more information about how we can help you with your appeal or hearing needs, contact us at 305-350-5690


What is the new rule on summary judgment in Florida? ›

Talcott, 191 So. 2d 40, 43 (Fla. 1966). Florida's new summary judgment standard requires the evidence on the issue of fact be probative enough that a reasonable jury could find in favor of the nonmoving party.

What is a motion to continue summary judgment hearing in Florida? ›

A motion for summary judgment under Florida law is a document that's ultimately used to bring a case to a close or move it forward within the legal system. It's a way for one party to request that the court rule on a particular issue in a case.

Can you appeal summary judgment in Florida? ›

Similar to a statute of limitations, every court has a rule controlling the amount of time a party has to file an appeal after the final judgment. In Florida Courts, a lower tribunal's final decision generally must be appealed within 30 days, or the right to appeal is forever lost.

Is it hard to win summary judgment? ›

Summary judgment is considered difficult to get. You need a lawyer to file and win a summary judgment successfully. Summary judgment consists of a motion and a memorandum where both parties present their argument and undisputed facts.

What is the Rule 1.150 in Florida? ›

If a party deems any pleading or part thereof filed by another party to be a sham, that party may move to strike the pleading or part thereof before the cause is set for trial and the court shall hear the motion, taking evidence of the respective parties, and if the motion is sustained, the pleading to which the motion ...

What is the Florida standard for judgment on the pleadings? ›

A judgment on the pleadings is granted in the rare instance where a party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law based solely on review of the complaint and the answer. It is a procedural device embodied in Rule 1.140(c) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

What is the purpose of a summary judgment? ›

What Is a Summary Judgment? A summary judgment is a decision made based on statements and evidence without going to trial. It's a final decision by a judge and is designed to resolve a lawsuit before going to court.

What is the difference between motion to dismiss and summary judgment in Florida? ›

A motion to dismiss challenges the sufficiency of the complaint, while a motion for summary judgment challenges the underlying merits of the case. In other words, a motion to dismiss is based on the legal sufficiency of the complaint, while a motion for summary judgment is based on the factual sufficiency of the case.

What is needed in Florida what must be proven shown to win a motion for summary judgment in a civil case? ›

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 56, states that in order to be successful in a summary judgment motion, the moving party must prove that 1) there is no genuine dispute of any material fact of the case, and 2) the movant is entitled to the judgment as a matter of law.

What is the summary procedure in Florida? ›

Summary procedure entitles specific Florida legal proceedings to expedited rules. Under Florida Statute 51.011, accelerating timeframes allows a case to proceed speedily and efficiently. The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure apply in an action ruled by summary procedure, except where statute or rule provides otherwise.

Is there a statute of limitations on a judgment in Florida? ›

The statute of limitations in Florida is a law that restricts how long someone has to sue another person after a claim occurs and a legal cause of action arises. The statute of limitations is 20 years for judgment recovery and unpaid property taxes, but 5 years or less for all other causes of action.

What is a final order to appeal Florida? ›

Final Orders

Must be appealed within thirty days of a rendered final judgment or order denying a timely filed motion for rehearing. An appeal from a final order may bring some or all of the decisions made by the trial court during the course of the case to the appellate court for review.

How successful are summary Judgement? ›

The odds of winning a summary judgment, known as the grant rate, vary widely by case type. The most common grant of summary judgment is in Title VII and employment cases. These are granted in whole in 49.2% of cases, in part in 23.3% of cases, and denied in 27.5% of cases.

How do you beat summary judgment? ›

Therefore, to win on summary judgment you have to convince a judge that it is a good use of his or her very limited time and resources to write the decision. This means that your written material has to demonstrate that the law and facts support summary judgment, and contain no misstatements of law or fact.

Is summary judgment a good thing? ›

Although a summary judgment is a favorable result for the motioning party, it can be detrimental for the opponent. For example, if the other party that you are suing files for a summary judgment, this may prevent you from having your story heard in court.

What is rule 1.6 in Florida? ›

A lawyer must reveal confidential information to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary: (1) to prevent a client from committing a crime; or (2) to prevent a death or substantial bodily harm to another.

What is rule 12.740 in Florida? ›

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, family matters and issues may be referred to a mediator or mediation program which charges a fee only after the court has determined that the parties have the financial ability to pay such a fee.

What is rule 1.550 in Florida? ›

Rule 1.550. Executions and Final Process. (a) Issuance. Executions on judgments shall issue during the life of the judgment on the oral request of the party entitled to it or that party's attorney without praecipe.

What is required for a final judgment in Florida? ›

Judgment Liens on Personal Property

A judgment becomes final once the time for rehearing has expired and no motion for rehearing is pending ( if no stay of the judgment or its enforcement is then in effect). See § 55.202(2)(a), Florida Statutes.

Are you Judgement proof in Florida? ›

Judgment proof refers to a situation where a civil monetary judgment creditor cannot collect any of a debtor's assets or income. Many judgment debtors aspire to be judgment-proof through asset protection planning. But asset protection will not make you judgment proof in Florida.

What is a Rule 68 offer of judgment in Florida? ›

Primary tabs. (a) Making an Offer; Judgment on an Accepted Offer. At least 14 days before the date set for trial, a party defending against a claim may serve on an opposing party an offer to allow judgment on specified terms, with the costs then accrued.

What is the difference between summary judgment and judgment? ›

Summary judgment is a fast track proceeding in court whereby judgment is obtained without the merit and complements of a full trial; whereas Default judgment is entered for a party upon the adverse party's failure or inability to fulfill and perform a certain task or condition required of such party.

Is summary Judgement the same as final Judgement? ›

Despite the name “summary judgment,” the ruling of the court that comes after the filing of a motion for summary judgment is an order, not a final judgment. Unlike the situation of the demurrer—in which it is not necessary to get a final judgment—an order granting summary judgment is not appealable.

What is the burden of proof for summary judgment? ›

Initial burden: The movant would bear the burden of persuasion at trial, and also bears the initial burden of production in summary judgment. The movant must show that a reasonable fact-finder must find it its favor. It must be shown that: Movant has materials for all necessary elements of its own claim or defense.

What comes after summary Judgement? ›

Once the summary judgement is granted, the case ends there, and neither party will have to deal with the stresses of a full trial. At times, the winning party can ask for an award of costs or attorney fees from the other party unless those terms were already established in the summary judgment.

What are the two types of summary judgment? ›

Judges may grant partial summary judgment. For example, a judge might rule on some factual issues, but leave others for trial. Alternately, a judge might grant summary judgment regarding liability, but still hold a trial to determine damages.

What is the difference between motion for summary judgment and adjudication? ›

While both are pre-trial devices, summary adjudication differs from summary judgment in that the latter disposes of the entire case, whereas summary adjudication resolves selected issues, leaving the remaining ones to be settled at trial.

What is the best evidence rule in Florida? ›

Plainly put, the Best Evidence Rule basically states that instead of introducing other pieces of evidence to show writing, a recording, or a photograph, the Best Evidence Rule asks to actually see the original evidence (i.e. the writing, the recording, the photograph, etc).

How do you avoid summary judgment? ›

Summary judgment is described as “a blunt instrument” that can abruptly terminate the litigation. To avoid a summary judgment, the other party must provide the court with evidence that would be permitted at trial that indicates that the key facts are disputable.

What happens when summary Judgement is denied? ›

When a motion for summary judgment is denied, the nonmoving party achieves a form of premium that enables a case to settle for an additional amount. Put simply, the settlement value of a case increases when a motion for summary judgment is denied. Thus, denials of summary judgment up the ante in the litigation game.

What makes a judgment void in Florida? ›

In Florida, a "void judgment" is so defective that it is deemed never to have had legal force and effect, while a "voidable judgment" is a judgment that has been entered based upon some error in procedure that allows a party to have the judgment vacated, but the judgment has legal force and effect unless and until it ...

Does a Judgement ever go away in Florida? ›

Presently there is a Florida statute that limits judgment liens to 20 years,3 and there is a Florida statute that limits “actions” on certain judgments to 20 years and other judgments to five years. There is, however, no statute or court rule that places a time limit on the execution of judgments.

What is Rule 11 in Florida state court? ›

Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's name—or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must state the signer's address, e-mail address, and telephone number.

What makes a Judgement invalid? ›

Several reasons can render a judgment void as a matter of law including, (1) lack of subject matter jurisdiction, (2) lack of personal jurisdiction, (3) lack of or improper service of summons, (4) default improperly entered, and (5) a default judgment exceeding the amount demanded in the complaint.

Is there a statute of limitations on a Judgement in Florida? ›

A judgment is good, and can be enforced, for up to 20 years. That seems like a long time, and it is. A judgment is good for 10 years and Florida allows a creditor to “renew” a judgment before the expiration of the 10 years for an additional 10 years, thus giving a judgment almost unending life.

What is a Rule 36 judgment? ›

A Rule 36 is judgment “does not endorse or reject any specific part of the trial court's reasoning” and is non-precedential, i.e., not binding on the Court. It is only binding on the parties. Generally, these judgments are handed down shortly after the Court hears oral arguments.

What is the 768.79 law in Florida? ›

Florida Statutes Section 768.79 encourages settlement of claims by providing an attorney fee shifting mechanism in instances where the defendant makes an offer of judgment to the plaintiff, and the ultimate judgment is one of no liability or the plaintiff obtains a judgment that is at least 25% less than the amount of ...

What is a Rule 167 offer? ›

Under Rule 167, a "reasonable" settlement offer is one not "significantly less favorable" to the offeree than the actual judgment at trial. This means that for offers made by a defendant to a plaintiff -- a settlement offer is reasonable if the judgment is less than 80% of the offer amount.

What happens to a judgment after 10 years in Florida? ›

If the creditor does not re-record the judgment according to statutory procedures, the Florida judgment lien automatically expires after ten years.

What personal property can be seized in a Judgement in Florida? ›

The sheriff's department can seize: Personal property: movable things (e.g., cars, horses, boats, furniture, jewelry) owned by the debtor. Real property: land and buildings owned by the debtor.

Does a Judgement against you ever go away? ›

A judgment stays on your credit report for seven years, although in some cases — such as bankruptcy — the judgment can stay for as long as 10 years, and it does not matter what type of loan the judgment relates to: a car loan, a student loan, unpaid credit card debt, a personal loan, a cosigned loan, etc.

What is rule 1.220 in Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? ›

Irrespective of whether the court determines that the claim or defense is maintainable on behalf of a class, the order shall separately state the findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the determination is based.

What is rule 1.480 in Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? ›

1.480. Rule 1.480 - MOTION FOR A DIRECTED VERDICT (a) Effect. A party who moves for a directed verdict at the close of the evidence offered by the adverse party may offer evidence in the event the motion is denied without having reserved the right to do so and to the same extent as if the motion had not been made.

What is rule 1.11 Middle District of Florida? ›

(a) PUBLIC RIGHT OF ACCESS. Because constitutional law and common law afford the public a qualified right of access to an item filed in connection with the adjudication of a claim or defense, sealing is unavailable absent a compelling justification.


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