Amendments to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Effective January 1, 2014

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The Florida Supreme Court has adopted various amendments to the rules of civil procedure that became effective on January 1, 2014.  To see all of the redlined changes and to read the decision of the Court adopting these changes, please click here.  The significant changes are highlighted below.

Deadline Changes

            The amendments made noteworthy changes to the deadlines for certain post-trial motions.

 

Motion

 

 

Rule

 

Old Rule

 

New Rule

 

Service of motion for judgment in accordance with motion for directed verdict

 

1.480(b)

 

10 days after return of verdict

 

15 days

 

Service of a motion for new trial or for rehearing

 

1.530(b)

 

10 days after return of verdict in a jury action or the date of filing of the judgment in a non-jury action

 

15 days

 

Order of rehearing or new trial on court’s initiative

 

1.530(d)

 

10 days after entry of judgment or within the time of ruling on a timely motion for rehearing or a new trial may by the party

 

15 days

Substantive Rule Changes

Rule 1.431 (Trial Jury) – The Court added paragraph (i) which addresses communications between the judge or courtroom personnel and the jury.  It specifies what communications must be on the record, what communications may be off the record, how jurors should be instructed regarding the limitations on communications, and when courtroom personnel should notify the court of juror communications.

Rule 1.442 (Proposals for Settlement) – A proposal no longer has to “identify the claim or claims the proposal is attempting to resolve.”  Instead, the proposal must “state that the proposal resolves all damages that would otherwise be awarded in a final judgment in the action in which the proposal is served.”  Subdivision (F) still requires offerors to “state whether the proposal includes attorneys’ fees and whether attorneys’ fees are part of the legal claim.”

Rule 1.451 (Taking Testimony) – This is a new rule that allows the parties to agree, or one or more parties to request, that the court authorize presentation of witness testimony by contemporaneous video or audio communications equipment.  It states the general rule that a witness must be physically present when testifying at a hearing or trial unless otherwise provided by law or rule.

Rule 1.490 (Magistrates) – This rule was amended to:  require that the notice or order setting a hearing before a magistrate state if electronic recording or a court reporter will be used; allow the magistrate to examine “all witnesses produced by the parties”;  require the magistrate to include certain bolded language in his report; require the filing (not service) of exceptions within 10 days from time of service of the report; specifies that cross-exceptions must be filed within 5 days after service of the exceptions; and require the party filing exceptions to provide to the court a record sufficient to support the exceptions.

Form Changes

The Court also amended the subpoena forms to require a person with a disability to notify the appropriate person of any needed assistance at least 7 days before the person’s scheduled appearance or immediately upon receipt of the subpoena if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days.  This change affects:  Rules 1.910 (Subpoena for Trial); 1.911 (Subpoena Duces Tecum for trial); 1.912 (Subpoena for Deposition); 1.913 (Subpoena Duces Tecum for Deposition); 1.922 (Subpoena Duces Tecum without Deposition); and 1.982 (Contempt Notice).

 

Topics:  Deadlines, Rules of Civil Procedure

Published In: Civil Procedure Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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