Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Motion to Amend Complaint Properly Denied

Today, in Hickman v. Barclay’s International Realty, Inc. (4D07-3382), the Fourth DCA affirmed the circuit court's denial of plaintiff's Motion to Amend Pleadings. The case had been pending for over six years and the plaintiff had made five previous amendments to its complaint. At the summary judgment hearing, the plaintiff made an ore tenus motion to amend. The circuit court denied the ore tenus motion and the Fourth DCA affirmed stating:
“While the policy in Florida is to liberally allow amendments to pleadings where justice so requires, a trial judge in the exercise of sound discretion may deny further amendments where a case has progressed to a point that liberality ordinarily to be indulged has diminished.” Alvarez v. DeAguirre, 395 So. 2d 213, 216 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981) (citation omitted); see also Orange Motors of Coral Gables, Inc. v. Rueben H. Donnelley Corp., 415 So. 2d 892, 895 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982) (“[T]hree attempts to amend the complaint are enough.”). “In addition to the desirability of allowing amendments so that cases may be concluded on their merits, there is an
equally compelling obligation on the court to see to it that the end of all litigation be finally reached.” 395 So. 2d at 216 (citation omitted); see also Noble v. Martin Mem’l Hosp. Ass’n, Inc., 710 So. 2d 567, 568–569 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (“There comes a point in litigation where each party is entitled to some finality.”).

Here, the trial court properly exercised its discretion in denying the Hickmans’ motion, having determined that they had taken advantage of numerous opportunities to amend their pleadings and that the case had been pending for a long time. We affirm the trial court’s decision denying leave to amend.


Post a Comment