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What is the time limit for a Defendant to answer a First Amended Complaint filed in County Civil Court in Florida?

Port Charlotte, FL |

I am a pro se Plaintiff, the Defendant hads recruited the help of a consulting attorney (but not the attorney of record). The Defendant's attorney filed a motion to dismiss by claiming that my complaint failed to state any claims in which judicial relief could be granted, and requested the Court dismiss the complaint, unless I could amend the complaint to state legitimate claims. The Defendant's Motion went into detail explaining each and every thing that was wrong with the complaint. I filed a motion declaring my intent to file a first amended complaint and filed my first amended complaint within 20 calendar days.

My question is this? Does the Defendant have 20 calendar days (plus 5 days for mailing) to respond to any Amended Complaint just as they do the initial complaint?

Thank you, Mr. Lampert. Was it proper to send the First Amended Complaint to the Defendant's attorney via Regular Mail instead of having it served upon them via process server like the initial complaint? Could they claim that this was not proper service, should this become an issue should they fail to answer the Complaint in a timely manner?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Rule 1.190(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure require an answer to the Amended Complaint to be made within ten (10) days from the day of service, plus five (5) more if you mailed the Amended Complaint.

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  2. The only proviso to the rule would be that the amended complaint had to be filed by mutual agreement or the Court had to allow for the filing of same. If that has not occurred yet, then the time frame for responding has not started to click either. Regular mail and/or fax service of the amended complaint is sufficient no service of process is required as was done with the initial complaint.

    The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505