Does it feel like your Florida court case has been forgotten during this pandemic? You’re not alone. There are roughly 50,000 cases pending in Orange County. However, the Florida Supreme Court has just implemented a new and more aggressive case requirement plan for all civil cases. Chief Justice Charles Canady, at the Bar President Dori Foster-Morales’ March 30 Zoom town hall meeting for Bar members said, “People are going to have to understand that when they come to court…they need to be ready to go. If they’re not ready to do that, then they probably shouldn’t be filing a complaint.” How does this new process benefit you? Let us break it down for you.
The goal of this new law is to try to get this backlog of cases (and future cases) to trial within a window of 12-18 months. Given the backlog of cases, certainly, not all cases will be resolved in that time frame, however, it’s a start. It’s also important to note that while there is an established time frame, your specific dates may differ depending on the complexity of your case and when the case was filed.
How the Filing Date and Complexity of the Case affect Your Court Date
Cases filed prior to April 30th, 2021 will have to submit a case plan with the court, and on new cases, the standard case plan will have to be filed along with the complaint. Without these, the clerk will not issue the summons. Aside from the date of filing, the complexity of the case will also be a factor.
What determines the complexity? Complex civil cases are designated by court order as to whether or not they are complex under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.201. In Orange County, this includes all cases assigned to the Business Court division. This can also include cases that may involve more complicated legal or case management issues, as well as those that may require extensive judicial management to speed the process along more efficiently while being mindful of costs.
So now that you know what differentiates these processes, what do those processes look like? Well first, there is the Agreed Streamlined Case Management Plan and Order. Agreed is the qualifier in the name of that process. This streamlined plan is an agreed-upon timeline between all parties involved that they will adhere to in the process of the case.
The Streamlined Case Management Plan and Order is established by the Court. All those involved will adhere to the timeline administered by the Orange County Court. But you can breathe easy regardless of which plan your case falls under. Your attorney is obligated to conclude the litigation process in a reasonable amount of time. And no, the pandemic alone will not be an acceptable excuse for any delays in the proceedings. [Rule 2.545(a)].
After an accident, C. Todd Smith Law is here to help you get your health, finances, and your life back on track.