Summary judgment is a procedural tool that either party in a civil lawsuit can use to dismiss specific issues from a lawsuit. Florida’s summary judgment rules have undergone some drastic changes in the last few months, and plaintiffs must understand how the procedural tool functions in court settings. In most cases, lawsuits proceed to trial because the plaintiff and defendant disagree about the facts of a case. However, in some situations, critical facts of a case may not be under dispute. In these cases, a party may ask the court to decide the lawsuit’s outcome without a trial. This is only applicable when there are no material facts under dispute, and in light of the undisputed facts, the moving party is entitled to judgment under the law.
Under Florida laws, a plaintiff cannot file a summary judgment motion within the first 20 days after filing a complaint. However, the defendant can file a summary judgment motion at any time. The motion must specifically detail the grounds upon which it is based and identify all evidence that the moving party relies upon. The movant must file and appropriately serve the other party with the motion at least 20 days before the scheduled hearing date. Both parties can use depositions, interrogatories, and expert affidavits to support or oppose a summary judgment motion.
After the judge receives the motion and response, they will preside over the hearing and listen to the attorneys present their arguments. These hearings do not involve any other oral testimony. Summary judgment is a useful tool for plaintiffs; however, when the other party moves for summary judgment, a plaintiff may risk having their case dismissed. An experienced attorney can help plaintiffs understand the best course of action in cases involving summary judgment.
For example, a plaintiff recently appealed an order granting summary judgment to the defendant in a negligence case involving the defendant’s fencing. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was negligent in failing to warn the plaintiff of the fence’s dangers. The appeals court ruled that there were disputed issues of material fact regarding the fence’s location and who was responsible for taking it down. As such, the appeals court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries because of another’s negligence, you should contact the attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. Our law firm attorneys have extensive experience handling various types of Florida motor vehicle accident cases, such as those stemming from car, truck, motorcycle, and boat accidents. We also handle a variety of other claims, including defective products, premises liability, and medical malpractice. Our attorneys understand the complex interplay between the various procedural and substantive laws that Florida injury cases often entail. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients through our dedicated and effective representation. Compensation in these cases typically include payments for medical expenses, ongoing treatment, property damage, pain and suffering, and other similar losses. Contact our office at 877-499-4878, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.