Judgment on the Pleadings
Can you stop litigation in its tracks by getting judgment on the pleadings? Let’s say that you are sued. Can you file a motion to dismiss or another motion to end the lawsuit? We have previously suggested that some lawsuits can be ended quickly under limited circumstances. To learn more, click here.
Once the lawsuit is “answered”
If you have been sued, you must file a response within 20 days of being served. Check out the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
You can file an answer, or a motion to dismiss.
Once you have answered the complaint, then we can focus on the legal issues.
You may ask the court not to have a trial, but to rule as a matter of law.
Two options are a motion for summary judgment and a motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Two recent cases on judgment on the pleadings.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal is the appellate court for Miami-Dade County.
If the court looks at the complaint and the answer, and any attachments, you may not need a trial.
If you file a motion directed to that, it will focus the judge’s attention just on the “pleadings”.
You win if you are “entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
What does that mean? Well, it means that the court can simply read stuff and rule! No need for a trial.
What a judge does is looks at the answer, complaint and any exhibits. She reads them. She also does two important things after that.
First, she accepts the non-moving party’s allegations, or suggested facts, as true. Second, she applies the law. In other words, think of it this way. After reading the pleadings, and accepting the facts as true, can this judge simply tell you what the law says without hearing any evidence?
It’s more common than you think. In some circumstances, like statutes of limitations, and some trust lawsuits, it’s a great way to handle the case. Ask an experienced probate litigator if this is right for you.
Lawyers too expensive? Consider this. Try to find a confident, experienced lawyer who loves what they do. And who will take your case on a contingency fee. No fee unless you get a recovery. What is a contingency fee? Click for an explanation. Want to learn more about a contingency fee for probate or estate disputes? Click those links to get free commentary.