Florida 5th DCA – Summary Judgment Reversed – Motion Constituted an Abuse of Discretion – Stephanie J. Crown v Chase Home Finance

This is why more need to fight, more need to retain attorneys and more need to appeal the “Abusive” decisions coming from the circuit courts…







Case No.  5D09-1225

Opinion filed July 30, 2010

Appeal from the Circuit Court
for Lake County,
William G. Law, Judge.

Mark A. Skipper, Orlando, and Craig Lynd,
of Kaufman, Englett & Lynd, LLC,
Altamonte Springs, for Appellant.

Elliot B. Kula, Daniel M. Samson, and
Elaine D. Walter, of Greenberg Traurig,
P.A., Miami, and Michele Stocker, of
Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Fort Lauderdale,
for Appellee.
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Stephanie and John Crown appeal from an adverse final summary judgment entered after the denial of their motion to amend their answer.  We reverse, concluding that the denial of the Crowns’ motion constituted an abuse of discretion.

Immediately after being served with the initial complaint, the Crowns filed a pro se, bare-bones answer.  The next record activity occurred approximately seven months later when Chase Home Finance, LLC, served its motion for summary judgment.   One week later, the Crowns’ newly retained  counsel served a motion to amend on the Crowns’ behalf.  A proposed answer with affirmative defenses was attached to the motion.  Chase’s previously filed motion for summary judgment did not address several of the affirmative defenses raised in the Crowns’ proposed answer.  On the twenty-first day after service of the motion for summary judgment, the  trial court held a hearing, denied the Crowns’ motion to amend, and  granted Chase’s motion for summary final judgment.
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An order on a motion to amend is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard.   See Yun Enters, Ltd. v. Graziani,  840 So. 2d 420, 422-23 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003); Gate Lands Co. v. Old Ponte Vedra Beach Condo., 715 So. 2d 1132, 1135 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998). However, all  doubts should be resolved in favor of allowing the amendment and refusal to do so generally constitutes an abuse of discretion unless it clearly appears that allowing the amendment would prejudice the opposing party, the privilege to amend has been abused, or amendment would be futile. See Yun Enters., 840 So. 2d 420; Gate Lands Co., 715 So. 2d 1132. Public policy further favors the liberal granting of leave to amend where the failure to do so will likely prevent the cause from being resolved on its merits.  Gate Lands Co., 715 So. 2d at 1135 (public policy of this state is to freely allow amendments to pleadings so that cases may be resolved on their merits).

In the instant case, Crowns had not abused the privilege to amend and there was no showing that amendment would be futile or that Chase  would suffer prejudice.  Furthermore, denial of the motion to amend  would preclude the case from being resolved on its merits.
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GRIFFIN and SAWAYA, JJ., concur.




Stephanie J. Crown v Chase Home Finance

2 Responses to “Florida 5th DCA – Summary Judgment Reversed – Motion Constituted an Abuse of Discretion – Stephanie J. Crown v Chase Home Finance”
  1. Ali says:

    Being in this fight for over 4 years I have seen many abuse’s of power. The last being the “Mandatory Mediation” program in Will County Illinois, the plaintiff failed to appear and should have been remanded back to court for sanctions. I am not blind, there were only two people in the room , myself and a retired Judge of 30 years who took it upon himself to LIE on the report that plaintiff appeared! Abuse of Power, let me count the ways……….

  2. Daniel Moss says:

    Judge William G. Law has absolutely no regard for the law or Pro Se respondants. In a case that I had before him, he refused to let me speak my case, held ex-parte hearings, and blatantly told me I had to sign a settlement agreement because I would not recieve a fair hearing. I later found a case in volving the company Dura-Stress in Lake County, where his behavior was brought to the attention of the State supreme court. The supreme court issued a 30 page finding, reprimanding him for the same type of behavior i saw in my case and the case outlined in this article. Would you believe the law firm that represented the opposing party in my case was the same firm that represented him against Dura-Stress. Himmmmm……………..Anyone else who has had issues with Judge law, please contact me at HL867379@yahoo.com together we can stop this man from abusing his authority.

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