Is There a Difference Between Motioning for Reconsideration or Rehearing?

Ask any civil trial lawyer in Florida how many days one has to move for rehearing of an order simply granting a motion for summary judgment, and the odds are good the lawyer will respond, “Ten days.” Pursue the matter further with the lawyer, and ask where this 10-day period is set forth in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, and the lawyer will invariably point to Rule 1.530, which by its title governs motions for new trial and rehearing.

Rule 1.530, however, provides that a motion for rehearing must be served no later than 10 days after “the date of filing of the judgment in a non-jury action.”1 An order simply granting a motion for summary judgment is not a final judgment; rather, it is a nonfinal order.2 So, too, are myriad other orders entered by a trial court before final judgment. Attorneys in Florida nevertheless regularly file “motions for rehearing” directed to such nonfinal orders. Often they believe they must do so within 10 days. Sometimes they also believe that such a motion tolls the time to seek appellate review of the nonfinal order.

Motions for rehearing of nonfinal orders are not authorized by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.3 Noting that motions for rehearing are exclusively governed by Rule 1.530, the Florida Supreme Court has observed that “[u]nless the filing of a motion for rehearing to an interlocutory order is authorized by a rule of court promulgated by the rule-making authority, then its filing is improper.”4 Indeed, it is not unheard of for an attorney to file a motion for “rehearing” of a nonfinal order and subsequently be confronted with a response from the other side echoing the court’s language and declaring that such motions are unauthorized and improper.

Yet while the rules of civil procedure themselves do not authorize motions for rehearing directed to nonfinal orders, a trial court does have the inherent authority to reconsider and alter or retract such orders prior to the entry of final judgment.5 Rather than constituting a motion for rehearing under Rule 1.530, a motion directed to a nonfinal order is actually a “motion for reconsideration” based upon this inherent and discretionary authority of the trial court.6 Despite this distinct and well-established basis for reconsideration of interlocutory orders, there still exists confusion among many practitioners about the differences between reconsideration and rehearing.

Much of the confusion stems from the fact that parties and the courts frequently use the terms interchangeably, at least in the context of motions directed at nonfinal orders. This is perhaps understandable given the lack of any rule-based authority for reconsideration of nonfinal orders; the articulation of the trial court’s inherent authority has of necessity come through the development of the common law. An attorney will, therefore, only be aware of the basis for reconsideration — as well as its effect on any subsequent appeal — from the case law.

Common Law Origin of Motions for Reconsideration

Continue reading Is There a Difference Between Motioning for Reconsideration or Rehearing?

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS 2016 – SOUTH FLORIDA

While ten contested races sounds like a high number, it’s not.  In 2006, there were 16 contested races; in 2012 there were 12 contests; and in 2008 there were also 10.  Anyone remember the likes of Shirlyon McWhorter, Stephen Millan, Michael Samuels, Migna Sanchez Llorens, Bonnie Rippingile, Josie Velis, Gina Mendez, and Jose Sanchez-Gronlier.  Those were just some of the losers in 2006.

Here are your contested judicial races:

CIRCUIT COURT

Circuit Group 9 – Incumbent Jason Bloch v. Marcia Del Rey

Circuit Group 30 – Incumbent Rosa Rodriguez v. Daniel Espinosa

Circuit Group 34 – Mark Blumstein v. Renee Gordon v. Denise Martinez-Scanziani v. Luis Perez-Medina.  (Judge Gill Freeman retiring).

Circuit Group 52 – Rosy Aponte v. Carol “Jodie” Breece v. Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts. (Judge Michael Genden retiring).

Circuit Group 66 – Incumbent Robert Luck v. Yolly Roberson

Circuit Group 74 – Incumbent George “Jorge” Sarduy v. Elena Ortega-Tauler

COUNTY COURT

County Group 5 – Incumbent Fred Seraphin v. Milena Abreu

County Group 7 – Incumbent Ed Newman v. Lizzett Martinez

County Group 15 – Ruben Yury Alcoba v. Linda Luce (Judge Judith Rubenstein retiring).

County Group 35 – Incumbent Wendell Graham v. Antonio “Tony” Jimenez

ELECTED WITHOUT OPPOSITION …..

Congratulations to the following 17 Judges/former Judge who have been elected to a six year term with an annual salary of $146,080 (Circuit Court) and $138,020 (County Court):

CIRCUIT

John Schlesinger
Rodolfo “Rudy” Ruiz
Scott Bernstein
Bertila Soto
John Thornton
Jennifer Bailey
Barbara Areces
David Young* (former Judge)
William Thomas
Milt Hirsch
Samantha Ruiz Cohen
Nushin Sayfie
Monica Gordo

COUNTY

Michaelle Gonzalez-Paulson
Carroll Kelly
Diana Vizcaino
Laura Anne Stuzin

FERNANDEZ RUNDLE & MARTINEZ BOTH REELECTED

Also elected without opposition were State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Public Defender Carlos Martinez.  For Carlos, who was first elected in 2008, this is his third term.  For Kathy, who is 66 years young, this is her seventh term.  She took over for Janet Reno in 1993 when President Clinton names Reno as Attorney General.  She was then elected in 1994 and reelected six more times.  Is this her final term?  What do you think?

NORTH OF THE BORDER

One note about the happenings in Broweird.  Our longtime colleague, ASA Abbe Rifkin, has qualified to run in Group 15 against three other candidates, including Incumbent Judge Matthew Destry.do-not-re-elect-bad-family-court-judges-2016

A lot of movement has taken place over the past few days in both the County Court and Circuit Court judicial races.VoteFamily-US -- 2015

florida judges - 2015Circuit Judge (Miami-Dade County)

Circuit / Group Candidate Status
11 / 3 Schlesinger, John C. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 6 Ruiz II, Rodolfo Armando (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 9 Bloch, Jason Edward (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
   Del Rey, Marcia  (NOP) Active    
 11 / 10 Bernstein, Scott  (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 12 Soto, Bertila A. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 20 Thornton Jr., John W. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 28 Bailey, Jennifer D. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 30 Rodriguez, Rosa I. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 32 Areces, Barbara  (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 34 Blumstein, Mark  (NOP) Active    
   Gordon, Renee  (NOP) Active    
   Jimenez, Antonio G. (NOP) Active    
   Martinez-Scanziani, Denise  (NOP) Active    
   Perez-Medina, Luis  (NOP) Active    
 11 / 39 Young, David Haris (NOP) Active    
 11 / 40 Thomas, William L. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 41 Hirsch, Milton “Milt”  (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 45 Cohen, Samantha Ruiz (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 52 Breece, Carol “Jodie” (NOP) Active    
   Ortega-Tauler, Elena  (NOP) Active    
   Perez-Ceballos, Raul Alberto (NOP) Active    
   Rodriguez-Fonts, Oscar  (NOP) Active    
 11 / 59 Sayfie, Nushin G. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 62 Gordo, Monica  (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
 11 / 66 Luck, Robert Joshua (NOP)  *Incumbent Active    
   Roberson, Yolly  (NOP) Active    
 11 / 74 Sarduy, George “Jorge” A. (NOP)  *Incumbent Active
 11 / 76 Eig, Spencer  (NOP)  *Incumbent Active

dysfunctional-family-courts-2015Source: JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG: JUDICIAL ELECTIONS 2016 – UPDATE