Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Failure to Timely File Brief on Appeal Insufficient Basis (on its own) to Justify Dismissal

In this decision from the Fourth DCA (United Automobile Ins. Co. v. County Line Chiropractic Center (4D09-187)), the circuit court sitting in its appellate capacity dismissed an appeal for failure to timely file the initial brief. The Fourth DCA reversed because "Public policy favors courts deciding controversies on their merits, even when an untimely brief is filed. See United Auto. Ins. Co. v. Total Rehab & Med. Ctr., 870 So. 2d 866 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004). The harsh sanction of dismissal of the appeal is inappropriate in this case, as this was not a case of extreme, willful misconduct by petitioner or counsel, or an intentional disregard of court orders or appellate rules rising to the level of inexcusable neglect."


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