How do You Know Which Version of a Statute Applies in Your Florida Probate Case?
When a statute has amendments, how do you know which version should be applied to your case? When do amended versions of a Florida statute apply instead of the original? The applicable version of a statute is ordinarily the one “in effect when the cause of action arose.” A December 12, 2018 Fourth DCA opinion, Philip Morris USA Inc & R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Stanley Martin & Estate of Carole Martin, discusses this issue. Although this is a wrongful death opinion, West Palm Beach probate lawyers encounter similar fact patterns.
Here, the defendants argue that the trial court erred by refusing to apply the post-1999 version of section 768.73. The defendants arguments is that the post-1999 version of the statute applies because plaintiff’s cause of action arose after 1999. The opinion states that “in civil cases, the applicable version of a statute is ordinarily the one in effect when,the cause of action arose.” In wrongful death actions like this one, the cause of action accrues on the date of the decedent’s death? When does the cause of action accrue in a Florida probate case? To read the entire opinion, click here.