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Florida Supreme Court Announces Changes to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

The Florida Supreme Court made significant changes to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure effective January 1, 2025 at 12:01 a.m.

Rule 1.510 (Summary Judgment) has been changed “to tie the deadline to respond to a motion motion for summary judgment to the date of service of the motion rather than to the hearing date.” “The response will be due no later than 60 days after service of the motion for summary judgment.” No. SC2024-0662.

New Rule 1.202, “Conferral Prior to Filing Motions” has been created. It sets forth duty and certificate requirements, including specific language to be utilized. No. SC2024-0662.

“To codify active case management in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, we amend Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.200 (Case Management; Pretrial Procedure), 1.201 (Complex Litigation), 1.280 (General Provisions Governing Discovery), 1.440 (Setting Action for Trial), and 1.460 (Motions to Continue Trial). No. SC2023-0962.

“Rule 1.200 is rewritten entirely and provides that each civil case must be assigned to one of three case management tracks (complex, general, or streamlined) within 120 days.  Under rewritten rule 1.200, the chief judge of each judicial circuit is required to enter an administrative order addressing certain case management requirements.  This approach allows each circuit to customize the process that works best for that circuit given the varying levels of volume, resources, and available automation.  A circuit is free to require parties to file proposed case management orders, or a circuit may produce automated case management orders, among other possible customizations.”  

“Rewritten rule 1.200 provides that “[i]n streamlined and general cases, the court must issue a case management order that specifies the projected or actual trial period based on the case track assignment, consistent with administrative orders entered by the chief judge of the circuit. The deadlines in the case management order must be “differentiated based on whether the case is streamlined or general” and “consistent with the time standards specified in Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.250(a)(1)(B),” and the order must include at least eight specified deadlines.   Rewritten rule 1.200 includes a detailed procedure for modifying the deadlines set forth in case management orders.  It states that deadlines in case management orders “must be strictly enforced unless changed by court order.”  But it allows parties to “submit an agreed order to extend a deadline if the extension does not affect the ability to comply with the remaining dates in the case management order.”  The rule further explains that parties’ requests for modifications of actual trial periods are governed by rule 1.460.  And “[i]f a trial is not reached during the trial period set by court order, the court must enter an order setting a new trial period that is as soon as practicable, given the needs of the case and resources of the court.”

“Rule 1.200 also includes new provisions regarding case management conferences and pretrial conferences.  A “court may set case management conferences at any time on its own notice or on proper notice by a party.”  But “[i]f noticed by a party, the notice itself must identify the specific issues to be addressed during the case management conference and must also provide a list of all pending motions.”  “The court may address any scheduling issues at a case management conference and may, on reasonable notice to the parties, address any pending motions other than motions for summary judgment and motions requiring evidentiary hearings. Complex cases proceed under rule 1.201, which we amend to provide that a court may (but is not required to) hold a hearing to determine whether a case should be designated as complex.”  

“We also amend rule 1.201 to provide that “[t]he parties must notify the court immediately if a case management conference or hearing time becomes unnecessary” and to expressly state that motions for trial continuances are governed by rule 1.460.”

“For rule 1.280, the Court incorporates into the scope of discovery subdivision the proportionality language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1).”

“Rule 1.280 is further amended to require certain initial discovery disclosures “within 60 days after the service of the complaint or joinder, unless a different time is set by court order.”

“We also amend rule 1.280 to impose a duty to supplement discovery.  Our amendments to rule 1.440 eliminate the “at issue” requirement and instead provide that “[t]he failure of the pleadings to be closed will not preclude the court from setting a case for trial.”  

“In addition, rule 1.440 is amended to require the court to enter an order fixing the trial period 45 days before any projected trial period in a case management order.”

“Finally, the Court rewrites rule 1.460 entirely to provide that “[m]otions to continue trial are disfavored and should rarely be granted and then only upon good cause shown.”

“Rewritten rule 1.460 also sets forth requirements for what must be included in a motion for a trial continuance and explains that, “[i]f a continuance is granted based on the dilatory conduct of an attorney or named party, the court may impose sanctions.”  

All practitioners should read each PDF (including the text of each rule) very carefully. Each Order provides for further comments to the Florida Supreme Court.   


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