Summary Judgment Reversed Due to Outstanding Discovery Requests – Harvey Covington & Thomas, LLC v. WMC Mortgage Corp.

In this foreclosure case, the trial court granted summary judgment even though the defendant requested an opportunity to take discovery on the plaintiff’s summary judgment affidavit and, further, the plaintiff had not responded to all of defendant’s discovery requests.  The appellate court reversed, holding,, “[I]t is an abuse of discretion for a trial court to grant summary judgment where the opposing party has not had an opportunity to complete discovery.”

Harvey Covington & Thomas, LLC v. WMC Mortgage Corp., 37 Fla. L. Weekly D897b (1st DCA Apr. 17, 2012)

Failure to Plead For Attorneys Fees – Imseis v. Zaher

The Plaintiff in this lawsuit lost his claims for cancellation of a deed, ejectment, and equitable lien.  The Court entered judgment and included language in the judgment that reserved ruling on attorneys’ fees.  The Plaintiff appealed as the Defendant neither party pled a fee claim.

The Second DCA found that neither party could recover their fees and that the judge’s inclusion of language reserving the right to award fees was improper.  “A claim for attorneys’ fees must be pleaded, whether based on contract or statute.”  citing BMR Funding, LLC v. DDR Corp., 67 So. 3d 1137, 1140 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (citing Stockman v. Downs, 573 So. 2d 835, 837 (Fla. 1991)). See also Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.525 (“Additionally, a timely motion is required.”)

Imseis v. Zaher, Case No. 2D10-5990 (Fla. 2d DCA April 4, 2012)

Overturning Sanctions for Failure to Make Specific Factual Findings – Cox v. Great American Insurance Co.

At issue in this appeal before the Fourth DCA was the trial court’s award of sanctions, pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.730(c), for a parties violation of a mediation agreement.  The Fourth DCA determined that the imposition of sanctions per Rule 1.730(c) required specific factual findings as to the breach or failure to perform under the terms of the mediation agreement.  Instead, the trial court had merely entered an order summarily granting such fees without stating the basis for the determination of fee entitlement.

Cox v. Great American Insurance Co., 37 Fla. L. Wkly D686a (Fla. 4th DCA March 21, 2012)