Navigating the Terrain of Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida

Gain a deep understanding of filing a motion for summary judgment in Florida. Learn key points, steps, and what judges look for before giving a ruling.

When it comes to expediting a lawsuit, a Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida can be a powerful tool. However, using this legal maneuver effectively demands a solid grasp of the state’s rules and regulations.

What is a Motion for Summary Judgment?

A Motion for Summary Judgment aims to conclude a case without a trial. In Florida, you file it when you believe that the opposing party has no chance of winning the case.

Example: If you’re a landlord dealing with a non-paying tenant, you might file a motion for summary judgment to quickly resolve the dispute.

Why is it Useful?

This motion can save both time and money by eliminating the need for a prolonged trial. In Florida, timeframes and requirements might differ slightly compared to other states.

Example: Some Florida courts require specific types of evidence that other states may not.

What Do Judges Look For?

In Florida, judges meticulously assess several factors before granting a Motion for Summary Judgment. The primary criterion is whether there are any undisputed material facts in the case. Essentially, the judge will assess if there’s a key issue that both parties agree on, eliminating the need for a trial to resolve that issue.

Example 1: If both parties agree that a debt exists and the debtor has failed to pay, this undisputed material fact may lead the judge to grant a summary judgment for the creditor.

Beyond undisputed material facts, judges also look for the applicability and validity of the law cited in the motion. The judge closely examines cited statutes, precedent, and administrative codes.

Example 2: If a cited Florida statute has recently been amended or repealed, the judge will consider this change in the legal landscape while assessing the motion.

Finally, judges look for what is known as “the burden of proof.” The party filing the motion must show that they have enough evidence to support their claim and that the opposing party cannot provide evidence to counter it.

Example 3: If you’re filing a motion for summary judgment based on the failure of the opposing party to provide evidence, you must show that you’ve given them ample opportunity to do so, typically through the discovery process.

Always remember, judges are looking for clear, concise, and compelling arguments supported by law and undisputed facts.

How to File One?

To file a motion for summary judgment in Florida, you must follow Rule 1.510 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. This involves submitting a written motion and any supporting affidavits.

Example: You’d need to attach affidavits that clearly lay out the facts of the case, perhaps from witnesses or experts who can substantiate your claims.


Navigating a Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida requires keen understanding and strategic planning. Knowing when and how to file can make or break your case, so always consider consulting with a legal expert for specific advice.

The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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