Dismissal; Trial Settings (12.420 – .440)
Rule 12.420. Dismissal of Actions
Dismissal of actions shall be governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.420, with the following two exceptions.
(a) Voluntary Dismissal. Unless otherwise specified in a notice or stipulation, a voluntary dismissal shall be without prejudice and shall not operate as an adjudication on the merits.
(b) Costs. Costs shall be assessed as provided in rule 1.420(d), except that the court shall not require the payment of costs of a previously dismissed claim, which was based upon or included the same claim against the same adverse party as the current action.
Rule 1.420. Dismissal of Actions
(a) Voluntary Dismissal.
(b) Involuntary Dismissal. Any party may move for dismissal of an action or of any claim against that party for failure of an adverse party to comply with these rules or any order of court. Notice of hearing on the motion shall be served as required under rule 1.090(d). After a party seeking affirmative relief in an action tried by the court without a jury has completed the presentation of evidence, any other party may move for a dismissal on the ground that on the facts and the law the party seeking affirmative relief has shown no right to relief, without waiving the right to offer evidence if the motion is not granted. The court as trier of the facts may then determine them and render judgment against the party seeking affirmative relief or may decline to render judgment until the close of all the evidence. Unless the court in its order for dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under this subdivision and any dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction or for improper venue or for lack of an indispensable party, operates as an adjudication on the merits.
(c) Dismissal of Counterclaim, Crossclaim, or Third–Party Claim. The provisions of this rule apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, crossclaim, or third–party claim.
(d) Costs. Costs in any action dismissed under this rule shall be assessed and judgment for costs entered in that action, once the action is concluded as to the party seeking taxation of costs. When one or more other claims remain pending following dismissal of any claim under this rule, taxable costs attributable solely to the dismissed claim may be assessed and judgment for costs in that claim entered in the action, but only when all claims are resolved at the trial court level as to the party seeking taxation of costs. If a party who has once dismissed a claim in any court of this state commences an action based upon or including the same claim against the same adverse party, the court shall make such order for the payment of costs of the claim previously dismissed as it may deem proper and shall stay the proceedings in the action until the party seeking affirmative relief has complied with the order.
(e) Failure to Prosecute. In all actions in which it appears on the face of the record that no activity by filing of pleadings, order of court, or otherwise has occurred for a period of 10 months, and no order staying the action has been issued nor stipulation for stay approved by the court, any interested person, whether a party to the action or not, the court, or the clerk of the court may serve notice to all parties that no such activity has occurred. If no such record activity has occurred within the 10 months immediately preceding the service of such notice, and no record activity occurs within the 60 days immediately following the service of such notice, and if no stay was issued or approved prior to the expiration of such 60–day period, the action shall be dismissed by the court on its own motion or on the motion of any interested person, whether a party to the action or not, after reasonable notice to the parties, unless a party shows good cause in writing at least 5 days before the hearing on the motion why the action should remain pending. Mere inaction for a period of less than 1 year shall not be sufficient cause for dismissal for failure to prosecute.
(f) Effect on Lis Pendens. If a notice of lis pendens has been filed in connection with a claim for affirmative relief that is dismissed under this rule, the notice of lis pendens connected with the dismissed claim is automatically dissolved at the same time. The notice, stipulation, or order shall be recorded.
Rule 12.430. Demand for Jury Trial; Waiver
Demands for and waivers of jury trial shall be governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.430.
Rule 1.430. Demand for Jury Trial; Waiver
(a) Right Preserved. The right of trial by jury as declared by the Constitution or by statute shall be preserved to the parties inviolate.
(b) Demand. Any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other party a demand therefor in writing at any time after commencement of the action and not later than 10 days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue. The demand may be indorsed upon a pleading of the party.
(c) Specification of Issues. In the demand a party may specify the issues that the party wishes so tried; otherwise, the party is deemed to demand trial by jury for all issues so triable. If a party has demanded trial by jury for only some of the issues, any other party may serve a demand for trial by jury of any other or all of the issues triable by jury 10 days after service of the demand or such lesser time as the court may order.
(d) Waiver. A party who fails to serve a demand as required by this rule waives trial by jury. If waived, a jury trial may not be granted without the consent of the parties, but the court may allow an amendment in the proceedings to demand a trial by jury or order a trial by jury on its own motion. A demand for trial by jury may not be withdrawn without the consent of the parties.
Rule 12.431. Trial Jury
Trials by jury shall be governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.431.
Rule 1.431. Trial Jury
(b) Examination by Parties. The parties have the right to examine jurors orally on their voir dire. The order in which the parties may examine each juror shall be determined by the court. The court may ask such questions of the jurors as it deems necessary, but the right of the parties to conduct a reasonable examination of each juror orally shall be preserved.
(c) Challenge for Cause.
(d) Peremptory Challenges. Each party is entitled to 3 peremptory challenges of jurors, but when the number of parties on opposite sides is unequal, the op posing parties are entitled to the same aggregate number of peremptory challenges to be determined on the basis of 3 peremptory challenges to each party on the side with the greater number of parties. The additional peremptory challenges accruing to multiple parties on the opposing side shall be divided equally among them. Any additional peremptory challenges not capable of equal division shall be exercised separately or jointly as determined by the court.
(e) Exercise of Challenges. All challenges shall be addressed to the court outside the hearing of the jury in a manner selected by the court so that the jury panel is not aware of the nature of the challenge, the party making the challenge, or the basis of the court’s ruling on the challenge, if for cause.
(f) Swearing of Jurors. No one shall be sworn as a juror until the jury has been accepted by the parties or until all challenges have been exhausted.
(g) Alternate Jurors.
(h) Interview of a Juror. A party who believes that grounds for legal challenge to a verdict exist may move for an order permitting an interview of a juror or jurors to determine whether the verdict is subject to the challenge. The motion shall be served within 10 days after rendition of the verdict unless good cause is shown for the failure to make the motion within that time. The motion shall state the name and address of each juror to be interviewed and the grounds for challenge that the party believes may exist. After notice and hearing, the trial judge shall enter an order denying the motion or permitting the interview. If the inter view is permitted, the court may prescribe the place, manner, conditions, and scope of the interview.
Rule 12.440. Setting Action for Trial
Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.440 shall govern general provisions concerning setting an action for trial in family law matters, with the following exceptions and additions.
(a) Setting for Trial. If the court finds the action ready to be set for trial, it shall enter an order setting the action for trial, fixing a date for trial, and setting a pretrial conference, if necessary. In the event a default has been entered, reasonable notice of not less than 10 days shall be given unless otherwise required by law. Trial shall be set within a reasonable time from the service of the notice for trial. At the pretrial conference, the parties should be prepared, consistent with Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.200, to present any matter that will prepare the parties for trial and that can expedite the resolution of the case. The trial court may also direct the parties to reciprocally exchange and file with the court all documents relative to the outcome of the case; a list of all witnesses, all issues to be tried, and all undisposed motions; an estimate of the time needed to try the case; and any other information the court deems appropriate. This information should be served and filed no later than 72 hours before the pretrial conference or 30 days before the trial.
(b) Sanctions. The failure to comply with the requirements of the order setting the action for trial shall subject the party or attorney to appropriate court sanctions.
Rule 1.440. Setting Action for Trial
(a) When at Issue. An action is at issue after any motions directed to the last pleading served have been disposed of or, if no such motions are served, 20 days after service of the last pleading. The party entitled to serve motions directed to the last pleading may waive the right to do so by filing a notice for trial at any time after the last pleading is served. The existence of crossclaims among the parties shall not prevent the court from set ting the action for trial on the issues raised by the com plaint, answer, and any answer to a counterclaim.
(b) Notice for Trial. Thereafter any party may file and serve a notice that the action is at issue and ready to be set for trial. The notice shall include an estimate of the time required, whether the trial is to be by a jury or not, and whether the trial is on the original action or a subsequent proceeding. The clerk shall then submit the notice and the case file to the court.
(c) Setting for Trial. If the court finds the action ready to be set for trial, it shall enter an order fixing a date for trial. Trial shall be set not less than 30 days from the service of the notice for trial. By giving the same notice the court may set an action for trial. In actions in which the damages are not liquidated, the order setting an action for trial shall be served on parties who are in default in accordance with rule 1.080(a).
(d) Applicability. This rule does not apply to actions to which chapter 51, Florida Statutes (1967), applies or to cases designated as complex pursuant to rule 1.201.
Rule 12.450. Evidence
Adverse witnesses, the record of excluded evidence, and the filing of evidence shall be governed by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.450.