• Arbitration Provisions – Third Party Beneficiary: A third party beneficiary is bound by an arbitration provision in a nursing home contract.  A nursing home resident, who did not sign the nursing home admission contract, was the intended third-party beneficiary of the contract.  The son, who brought suit against the facility on behalf of the resident, was bound by the arbitration provision.  Mendez v. Hampton Court Nursing Center, LLC, Case No. 3D13-1855, (Fla. 3d DCA June 4, 2014).
  • Forum Non Conveniens:  Action alleging non-resident defendants defamed non-resident plaintiff was not transferred to state where parties resided.  In determining whether to transfer a case for forum non conveniens a court must consider four factors: (1) whether an adequate alternative forum exists; (2) whether private interests will be affected by the granting or denial of the motion, with a strong presumption in favor of plaintiff’s choice of forum; (3) public interest factors, such as whether the case has a general nexus with the forum sufficient to justify the forum’s commitment of judicial time and resources; and (4) if the balance favors transferring to alternative forum, the court must determine that plaintiffs can reinstate their suit in the alternative forum without undue inconvenience or prejudice. Nordlicht v. Discala, Case No. 4D13-2062 (Fla. 4th DCA June 4, 2014).
  • Civil Procedure – Failure to Effect Service of Process: Plaintiff failed to effect service within 120 days of rendition of court order mandating service of process. Trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint without notice and opportunity to be heard as Rule 1.070(j) permits a sua sponte dismissal only after notice to plaintiff and an opportunity for plaintiff to show good cause why defendants have not been served.  Further, trial court erred in dismissing complaint with prejudice as Rule 1.070(j) permits either dismissal without prejudice or dismissal of defendants who have not been served.  Carter v. Mendez, Case No. 4D13-1668 (Fla. 4th DCA June 11, 2014).
  • E-Service of 57.105 Motions: Defendant’s claim for attorney’s fees denied where defendant’s e-mailed motion for sanctions to opposing counsel was not served in strict compliance with Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.  Proper email service requires: (1) e-mail attaching a motion with either (a) a PDF of the document or (b) a link to the document on a website maintained by a Clerk; (2) “”SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by Case Number: in the subject line; (3) the body of the email contains the following information (a) identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, (b) the case number, (c) the name of the initial party on each side, (d) the title of each document served with the e-mail; and (e) the name and telephone number of the person required to serve the document.  Any e-email exceeding five megabytes must be divided and sent as separate e-mails, no one of which may exceed 5MB in size and each of which must be sequentially numbered in the subject line. Matte v.Caplan, 4D13-1903 (Fla. 4th DCA June 11, 2014).