Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Third DCA Reverses Order Vacating Default Judgment

In Infante v. Vantage Plus Corp., et al (3D08-1960), the Third District reversed the trial court's order vacating a final default judgment.

The trial court vacated the judgment because, in its opinion, the complaint failed to state a cause of action. The Third District reversed because "because Infante correctly asserted all of the causes of action in her complaint, and thus the trial court improperly vacated the default final judgment on the grounds that the complaint was technically deficient."

"The standard of review of an order that vacates a final judgment by default as void for a complaint’s failure to state a cause of action is de novo. See Rubenstein v. Primedica Healthcare, Inc., 755 So. 2d 746, 748 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000). As this Court stated in Cruz v. Domenech, 905 So. 2d 938, 940 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005), "[i]n determining whether [the trial court’s] jurisdiction to grant a particular form of relief has been properly invoked by the pleadings, the trial court must be guided by whether the pleadings provided the parties with sufficient notice that matters related to such relief would be at issue."

"[E]even if these counts were technically deficient, the theft counts placed the defendants on sufficient due process notice of the nature of the claims filed against them."


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