In this trip and fall case, trial court ordered parties to non-binding arbitration. Arbitrator ruled in favor of the Plaintiff. Defendant did not move for trial de novo within 20 days of order and Plaintiff moved trial court for entry of final judgment pursuant to FRCP 1.820(h), which was granted by trial court.
Defendant then moved for relief from Final Judgment pursuant to FRCP 1.540(b), claiming that there was excusable neglect due to attorney’s failure to place reminder on firm’s “tickler system.” Trial court found that this was not excusable neglect and denied Defendant’s motion on July 16th. Defendant moved for rehearing, which was denied. Defendant filed notice of appeal on August 25th.
Appellate Court found it did not have jurisdiction as, pursuant to Rule 9.130(a)(5), motion for rehearing of motion for relief from judgment does not stay time to file for appeal.