Legal Memorandum: Relief from Judgment, Decrees or Orders

Issue: Under Florida law, is a lack of due process a proper basis for a moving party to seek relief from judgment under Rule 1.540(b)(4) (vacatur) if the movant failed to appear for the previous hearing?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Relief from judgment; Vacatur; Mistake
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 91 So. 3d 936; 588 So. 2d 957; 718 So. 2d 300; 206 So. 2d 650; 957 So.2d 1191; 748 So. 2d 1101; 890 So. 2d 300; 966 So. 2d 1022; 957 So. 2d 1191; 750 So. 2d 762; 81 So. 3d 461; 512 So. 2d 1029; 760 So. 2d 975; 387 So. 2d 983
Cited Statutes: Rule 1.540 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.420(b)
Date: 05/01/2015

Generally, Rule 1.540 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure governs relief from, and vacatur of, court orders.  Rule 1.540 provides:

(a) Clerical Mistakes. Clerical mistakes in judgments, decrees, or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time on its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders. During the pendency of an appeal such mistakes may be so corrected before the record on appeal is docketed in the appellate court, and thereafter while the appeal is pending may be so corrected with leave of the appellate court.


(b) Mistakes; Inadvertence; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud; etc. On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or a party’s legal representative from a final judgment, decree, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial or rehearing; (3) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) that the judgment or decree is void; or (5) that the judgment or decree has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment or decree upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is […]


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