The complex legal determination in adverse final judgment cases means as stated: a judgment has been against you; you file for a reversal of that adverse judgment. In short, you do not legally accept the original judgment of the court against you. Complicated? A bit. But filing such a judgment can mean you will not have to relinquish assets to any plaintiff or plaintiffs for the time being. A Settling Judgment to Creditors will be halted. But bear in mind, at some point, the court will say, “enough” and issue a final judgment that ends the case – for good and ever.
Judicial Doctrines of Finality
We proceed to court to resolve disputes, not perpetuate them. To honor and achieve this goal, the courts have fashioned several related doctrines that, taken together, hold “that at some point arguable questions of right and wrong for practical purposes simply cannot be argued further.” These doctrines reflect a balancing of our legal system’s fallibility with the benefit of finality it offers to litigants.
Finality in Florida Law
The trial court’s initial rulings on an issue do not establish the law of the case and will not prevent the court from revisiting an issue. Similarly, no procedural rule prevents a party from requesting, or a court from granting, reconsideration of preliminary rulings.
On the topic of finality, the Supreme Court has stated, “Once the litigation is terminated and the time for appeal has run, that action is concluded for all time. There is one exception to this absolute finality, and this is Rule 1.540, which gives the court jurisdiction to relieve a party from the act of finality in a narrow range of circumstances.” Fla.R:.Civ.P.1.540 provides a procedural mechanism for undoing a (negative) judgment.
A party may seek relief from a judgment, order, or decree under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540(b)(5) on the grounds that “it is no longer equitable that the judgment or decree should have prospective application.
Condition of Reversal
- Party must show that they have experienced a substantial change in circumstances. The substantial change in circumstances must be something that occurred after the court entered the order, judgment, or decree, and these new circumstances must make it inequitable for the order to continue to apply to the parties.
- No relief is rewarded if the party could have raised the issues during the litigation of the case. For example, if a defendant could have raised a certain defense before the court entered judgment, the defense would not be available as a “substantial change in circumstances” even if the defendant raised that defense for the first time after the court entered its judgment.
The procedure of reversal of the adverse judgment is limited by res judica, a legal precedent which states that a matter that has been adjudicated by a competent court may not be pursued further by the same parties.
Appealing a previous judgment or appeal? Our expert attorneys will guide you through the process. They will also offer an honest appraisal of your chances of judgment reversal.
Residents living in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Miami, West Palm Beach, or one of the other surrounding Florida communities, don’t wait. The appeals process has time limits.
Call or email Hunker Appeals now to set up a consultation.
Hunker Appeals, 110 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 2330, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 877-841-8808.
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