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Florida amended its summary judgment standard

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2022 | Real Estate Litigation |

The summary judgment standard in Florida has a history of being an unreliable avenue to resolve litigations swiftly and appropriately. But there is new hope that this unfortunate trend will be brought corrected now that the Florida Supreme Court has made key amendments to this standard.

What is the purpose of summary judgment?

Summary judgment is a ruling that is decided based purely on evidence and statements. The judge makes the final decision, eliminating the need for a trial. It’s a legal move that can help settle the lawsuit and leave an appearance in court of the process entirely.

What’s different about Florida’s summary judgment standard now?

In Florida’s summary judgment standard as it stood before this change, it was up to the person filing a lawsuit to prove that a true issue of material fact didn’t exist. This was such an extreme burden that summary judgment was only appropriate when a plaintiff had no possible way of proving their case.

With such an unreasonably difficult burden being put on the movant, litigation tended to be drawn out and ate up judicial funds. Now that Florida’s standard has been amended, the litigation process can be expedited while still making the appropriate decision for each case.

Under the amended Florida summary judgment standard, this charge has been shifted to the moving party. The change came in May 2021. In addition, the Florida Supreme Court also included the new requirement that trial courts must explain their rulings in a written statement for the record.

With these new amendments, Florida’s summary judgment standard now falls in line with the Federal standard. It’s a move that has been long in coming and highly anticipated by many Floridians, many of whom have been highly vocal in their belief that it should have come much sooner.