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Florida Civil Procedure
Stetson University School of Law
Weed, Martha-Irene

Florida Civil Procedure
Weed
Fall 2011
 
I.            Jurisdiction
a.      Over the person or res:
                                                              i.      Questions to ask:
1.        Whether state law authorize this basis of jurisdiction (courts construe applicable Fla. Stat.)
2.      Whether this basis meets the constitutional requirements of due process. 
a.      this question focuses on the D’s activity in or directed toward the forum state AND
b.      the nexus between the relationship and the cause of action asserted against the defendant.
                                                           ii.      Florida bases for personal jurisdiction: (see 4 page handout!)
1.        Presence within the state when served
2.      A general appearance without timely objection
3.       Consent
4.      Domicile (a natural person within Fla.)
5.      Incorporation
6.      A place of business in Florida of a foreign corporation
7.      Substantial and not isolated activity of a D within Florida. (can be sued under this provision even if there activity is unrelated to the cause of action).
8.      Long-Arm Statue, Fla. Stat. 48.193
a.      Venetian Salami Caseà two-step inquiry for non-residents of Florida:  1)are there minimum contacts and 2) then does the long arm statue apply?
                                                         iii.      When parties position on personal jurisdiction cannot be reconciled the court must hold a hearing to receive testimony, evidence, and argument regarding the nature and extent of the negotiations and subsequent on-going contracts to make the determination. 
b.      2 types of in personam jurisdiction: (need to meet one)
                                                              i.      General Jurisdictionàarises when D engages in sufficient business within the forum state; e.e. carries on a continuous and systematic part of its general business in the forum state.
                                                           ii.      Specific Jurisdictionàdefendant has far more limited contacts with the forum state (minimum contactsàsalami case), but assertion of Personal jurisdiction is still proper, as to claim that relate to or arise from the D’s activities in the forum.  (aka long arm statutes)
c.       In rem:  affects the interests of all persons in a thing
                                                              i.      Basis:  in rem judgment may be rendered where the court has power over the thing itself, ex; condemnation cases, where property in dispute is physically located within the state.
                                                           ii.      If P wants only something decreed, which does not require the D to do so a specific thing, then constructive service of process is sufficient to give court in rem jurisdicition. (see below too)
d.      Quasi-in-Rem Jurisdiction: affects the interests of particular person in a thing.  Generally the property is attached by judicial seizure of property within the territory of the state.
                                                              i.      Still need minimum contacts before you attach the particular property to obtain jurisdiction. 
                                                           ii.      This type of jurisdiction is still used in Florida in cases not within the coverage of the long arm statute and in which service by publication is permitted.
e.      Florida Courts Jurisdiction:  What courts get what cases?
                                                              i.      Florida supreme Court:
1.        Appellate review (discretionary or mandatory), issuance of writs and advisory opinions.
                                                           ii.      District Courts of Appeal (5 of them)
1.        They have appellate jurisdiction over:
a.      All final order not direct appealable to Supreme Court or to a circuit court.
b.      Nonfinal orders of a circuit court that concern venue, deal with injunctions, termination/appointment of receivers or receivership or determine:
                                                                                                                                      i.      Jurisdiction
                                                                                                                                   ii.      Right to immediate possession of property
                                                                                                                                 iii.      Right to immediate monetary relief or child custody
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Whether a party is entitled to arbitration
                                                                                                                                    v.      That a party in not entitled to workers’ compensation immunity as a matter of law
                                                                                                                                  vi.      That a class should be certified
c.       Orders granting new trials
d.      Orders entered on motions filed under Fla. Civ. P. Rule 1.540 (mistake, inadvertence, newly discovered evidence,etc)
e.      Orders entered in probate and guardianship matter that make final determinations as to rights or obligations of interested persons. 
2.      They have discretionary appeal power over county courts (if question submitted is of great public importance)
3.       May issue writs
                                                         iii.      Circuit Courts (20 of them)
1.        Exclusive trial jurisdiction over probate/estate matters, guardianship, all cases relating to juveniles (except traffic), all felonies and MM arising out of the same circumstances as felony charged, cases involving legality of tax assessment, actions of ejectme

awful invasion of a constitutional right of the P which is directly threatened in the county in which the suit was instituted.
3.       Gvn’t is sued as joint-tortfeasor
4.      Good cause provisionàex; access to otherwise confidential records.
e.      D can waive objections to venue if he does not raise it in its first response to the complaint.  But venue may already be stipulated to by contract.
                                                              i.      RULE:  the filing of a notice of appearance does not waive a venue objection, any more than it waives an objection to personal jurisdiction and there is no requirement to reserve the venue objection in the motion for extension of time.–>Podd v. Becker.
f.        Transfer of Actions:
                                                             i.      Court may transfer action to another county for the following reasons:
1.        Fair trial:  party will not receive a fair trial where action was brought b/c:
a.      Adverse party has undue influence over the minds of the inhabitants of the county
b.      The movant is so odious to the inhabitants of the county that he could not receive a fair trial or
c.       Its impractical to obtain a qualified jury.
d.      ***a verified motion is required to do this…..must be filed not less than 10 days after the case is at issue, unless good cause is shown.  It must
                                                                                                                                      i.      Be supported by affidavits of 2 reputable citizens of county not related to D or his attorney.
e.      Moving party will have to pay court costs and transfer fee, under transfer for fair trial provision.
2.      For Lack of venue, rule 1.060(b)
a.      Case should be transferred if filed in wrong county, NOT dismissed.
b.      RULE:  for venue purposes, tort claim is deemed to have accrued where the last event necessary to make the defendant liable for the tort took place.  (or where the P first suffers injury).  Doesn't matter where you suffer the loss.  Look at the bottom cause of action, look at the purpose of this case.  àFontana v. Hugo International.
3.       If the case should have been brought in circuit court or county court within the same circuit.  Lack of SM jurisdiction.
4.      When counterclaim or cross claim exceeds jurisdiction of county court.