Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fifth DCA Reverses Holding, Sua Sponte, That the Circuit Court Did Not Have Jurisdiction

In DNA Center for Neurology and Rehabilitation v. Progressive American Insurance Co. (5D08-1879) the Fifth DCA, sua sponte, reversed and held that the circuit court did not have jurisdiction to enter summary judgment. The Fifth DCA held that even though the issue of subject matter jurisdiction was not raised before the lower court or on appeal, that did not prevent them from raising it sua sponte. [They cited to See Dep't of Revenue v. Daystar Farms, Inc., 803 So. 2d 892, 895 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002) (lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised sua sponte by an appellate court); see also 84 Lumber Co. v. Cooper, 656 So. 2d 1297, 1298 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (subject matter jurisdiction cannot be created by agreement, waiver, inadvertence, or a court's exercise of power)."

An amended complaint was filed in the circuit court alleging damages in excess of $500 but less than $5,000 and the Exhibits attached to the amended complaint indicated damages were less than $500. Because the circuit court only had jurisdiction over action alleging damages in excess of $15,000, it did not have jurisdiction to enter its summary judgment order.


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