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Changes Take Effect for Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

July 1, 2024

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court amended the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and two notable changes took effect on July 1. First, the Florida Supreme Court is amending Rule 1.110 to require any party who sets forth any affirmative defense(s) in a pleading to “provide a short, plain statement of the ultimate facts that support” the affirmative defense. Now, a party will have to provide sufficient factual information in their pleading to support their affirmative defense, as well as provide the opposing party notice of the factual basis for the defense(s).

Second, the Florida Supreme Court amended Rule 1820 to clarify the process for rejecting an arbitrator’s decision and requesting a trial de novo. Under the new amended rule, an arbitration decision will be deemed rejected only if “a notice of rejection of the arbitration decision and request for trial” is filed within 20 days of service of the arbitrator’s written decision. Now, rather than filing a “Motion for Trial De Novo”, a party must file a Notice of Rejection of the Arbitration Decision and Request for Trial. The amendment expressly provides that “no action or inaction by any party, other than the filing of the notice, will be deemed a rejection of the arbitration decision.” Further, if a notice of rejection of the arbitration decision and request for trial is not made within 20 days of service, the decision “must be referred to the presiding judge, who must enter such orders and judgments as may be required to carry out the terms of the decision.” Thus, it is important that a party seeking to reject an arbitrator’s decision must do so in a timely manner to avoid any potential waiver issues.

Stay tuned for further updates as additional changes are slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

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