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What is the time frame for me to file an answer to a Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida?

West Palm Beach, FL |

I was sued by a Florida bank. Their service of process was improper per FL rules of procedure, so I filed a Motion to Dismiss for improper service along with a general denial as my Answer. The Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment which was denied. The case then lay dormant for 14 months, with no motions, pleadings or hearings by either party. Now, the Plaintiff has filed Motion for Summary Judgement. How much time do I have to respond? I've read 10 days but alternately read that I need to respond within 5 days of the hearing. It should be noted I never received their Motion in the mail (I saw it on the clerk's website). I would appreciate advice so I dont miss the deadline and to confirm when the clock started ticking. I would appreciate responses by FL based lawyers. Thank you!

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You are not required to respond in writing to a Motion for Summary Judgment.

IF you are in disagreement with any of the factual statements made in either the Motion or the supporting affidavits, then you must serve an Affidavit in which you state under oath what it is in the Motion or the supporting affidavits. The time to serve such an Affidavit depends on the manner by which you serve it. If you are mailing the Affidavit, it must be mailed at least 5 days before the hearing. If you are delivering it by hand delivery, then it must be delivered at least 2 days before the hearing.

Faxing the affidavit is the same as hand delivery, but, you still must mail it; it must be faxed before 5pm, and you must include a fax cover sheet. See Rule 1.080(b)(5) Rules of Civil Procedure as to what the fax cover sheet must contain.

The hearing itself can not be any sooner than 20 days from the date of service of the Motion, and if the Motion was neither faxed nor hand delivered, but sent only by mail, you can add 5 days to the 20. See Rule 1.090(e) RCP.

So, you can see that the clock does not start ticking when y ou are served the Motion for SJ, the clock ticks backward from the date of the hearing.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.


Any opposition to a motion for summary judgment must be mailed at least five (5) days before hearing,

Legal disclaimer: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. Thank You


I believe you need to have the pleadings reviewed by an attorney. Without doing any research I recall that the way to defend when there is improper service is to have an attorney file a Notice of Special Appearance and the Motion to Dismiss. By personally filing a Motion to Dismiss and a General Denial as an Answer to the Complaint you have made a general appearance in the case and you are no longer able to contest the improper service.

No attorney-client relationship is created by answering questions in this public forum. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship, you must contact me directly, not through this public forum. Answers are provided based on general ideas and an answer specific to your situation would require a review of all documents.

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