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Supreme Court alters deadline to respond to summary judgment motions

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The court also adopted new Rule 1.202 to require parties to confer before filing non-dispositive motions

SupremeCourt-seal-150x150In its continuing effort to streamline case management procedures, the Supreme Court May 23 amended the Rules of Civil Procedures to set the deadline to respond to a motion for summary judgment to the date of service of the motion rather than to the hearing date, and created a new rule requiring parties to confer before filing non-dispositive motions.

Acting on its own motion in Case No. SC2024-0662, the court amended Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510 (Summary Judgment) and adopted new Rule of Civil Procedure 1.202 (Conferral Prior to Filing Motions).

The changes, the court said, complement the civil case management amendments adopted the same day in Case No. SC2023-0962 (see story, here).

Rule 1.510 was amended to tie the deadline to respond to a motion for summary judgment to the date of service of the motion rather than to the hearing date, and that the response will be due no later than 60 days after service of the motion for summary judgment.

“This change to the summary judgment procedure will help ensure adherence to the deadlines set forth in the case management orders required under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.200 (Case Management; Pretrial Procedure) and 1.201 (Complex Litigation), as amended in SC2023-0962,” the court said.

To further assist case management efforts, the court also adopted new Rule 1.202 to require parties to confer before filing non-dispositive motions.

“Underthenewrule,themovantmustfilewiththemotion a statement certifying that the movant has conferred with the opposing party and stating whether the opposing party agrees on there solution of the motion,” the court said, adding that a certification that the opposing party was unavailable for a conference before filing the motion should “describe all efforts undertaken to accomplish dialogue with the opposing party prior to filing the motion.”

With a detailed certificate of conferral, the court said a trial judge will be in a better position to address problems between the parties at a hearing.

“And given constraints on hearing time, parties are expected to confer and attempt to resolve the issues raised in a motion before reserving hearing time,” the court said.

The amendments become effective January 1, 2025, but because the amendments were not published prior to adoption, interested persons have until August 6 to file comments.

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