Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dismissal with Prejudice Proper When Amendment Would be Futile

Stander v. Dispoz-O-Products, Inc., 973 So. 2d 603 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008) is a January 2008 opinion from the Fourth District, but the point made by Judge Emas in dissent is a good one:

Stander's appeal merely seeks review of the trial court's order which found, as a matter of law, no such cause of action could be pled. Second, to the extent the issue of amendment has impliedly been raised on appeal, the transcript of the hearing on the motion to dismiss plainly reveals that seeking leave from the trial court to amend the complaint would have been a futile and useless act, given the trial court's determination that no valid cause of action could ever be pled. The law does not require a futile or useless act, see Haimovitz v. Robb, 130 Fla. 844, 178 So. 827, 830 (1937); Young v. State, 664 So.2d 1144, 1145 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995), and imposing such a requirement in this case is contrary to reason and does not advance the underlying purpose for the rule articulated in Merkle.