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Discovery Abuses in Florida Lawsuits

Discovery abuses in Florida lawsuits and sanctions.

Think you can’t play by the rules? Think again. Florida lawsuits are serious things and you have to play by the rules. Part of those rules includes the discovery process. Part of those rules includes the ability to file a motion to inspect things, or walk on land. If there is an order that says somebody can walk on land or inspect certain things, you need to exhibit a good faith cooperation with the other side to let them accomplish that.

If you don’t, you could be exhibiting bad faith and you can be sanctioned for that. That’s the Perlmutter case, February 20, 2019 issued by the Fourth District Court of Appeal. In that case, the appellate court, this was not a probate matter, reviewed and upheld what they called the ultimate sanction.

And in the ultimate sanction case what happened was they dismissed the parties’ lawsuit in its entirety. That’s the ultimate sanction that a Florida court can give, or grant, or punish somebody with.

So, discovery rules are important, be careful. The ultimate sanction of dismissing someone’s lawsuit should rarely be granted by a court. And judges know that. But when a party is not cooperating, refusing to comply with court orders, or refusing to listen to commands from a judge, the ultimate sanction may be appropriate.