Florida Civil Litigation: How does a voluntary dismissal affect an appeal?
Are you thinking about signing a settlement agreement where you agree to voluntarily dismiss your lawsuit? Have your Florida attorneys thoroughly explained how your voluntary dismissal will affect a future appeal? When should you agree to voluntarily dismiss a Florida probate or business lawsuit? What does voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit in Florida have to do with Florida appeals?
Voluntary Dismissals in Florida Civil Lawsuits
A recent Third DCA opinion, Metalonis v. Eastgroup Properties, explains just how voluntarily dismissing your lawsuit can affect an appeal.
Here, the parties had entered into a Florida settlement agreement. One party did not comply with the terms of the settlement agreement so an emergency motion to compel compliance with settlement agreement was filed.
The trial court, after a hearing, approved the terms of the agreement, granted the motion to compel and ordered that a voluntary dismissal with prejudice be filed.
After the voluntary dismissal was filed with prejudice, and the case was dismissed, the party that filed the voluntary dismissal wanted to appeal the trial court’s order granting the emergency motion to compel. Unfortunately, by filing the voluntary dismissal, he had lost his chance to appeal.
When to Voluntarily Dismiss Your West Palm Beach Lawsuit
Only voluntarily dismiss your Florida probate or trust lawsuit if you are sure that you want the lawsuit to be COMPLETELY over! As the Metalonis v. Eastgroup case shows, once a party to a Florida lawsuit voluntarily dismisses his or her case, the trial court lacks jurisdiction to do anything. Therefore, an appeal can not be filed after the case is voluntarily dismissed.
Always consult with an experienced Florida litigator before agreeing to terms in a settlement agreement. If you are involved in probate or business litigation, you should consult with your litigator and a West Palm beach appellate lawyer before making any decisions that could prevent you from later filing a Florida appeal.
To consult with a West Palm Beach appellate attorney, free of charge, call (561)514-0900 Ext.101