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Allstate Ins. v. Ramjit

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District
Jul 5, 2001
788 So. 2d 402 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2001)


Case No. 3D00-3508

Opinion filed July 5, 2001.

An appeal from a non-final order from the Circuit Court for Dade County, Gisela Cardonne, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 97-13720.

Powers, McNalis, Moody Groelle and Mark A. Greenberg, for appellant.

Michael E. Hampden, for appellees.

Before COPE and GERSTEN, JJ, and NESBITT, Senior Judge.

Allstate Insurance Company appeals an order granting relief from judgment. We conclude that the order must be reversed.

Bhoodram Ramjit and Ethel Ramjit filed suit against their insurer, Allstate Insurance Company, regarding a Hurricane Andrew claim. On March 1, 2000, the trial court dismissed the case for failure of plaintiffs to provide discovery. Plaintiffs did not move for rehearing, or appeal.

Six months later, in August 2000, plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate the dismissal, contending that the plaintiffs had, in fact, complied with the insurer's discovery requests. The trial court granted the motion to vacate, and reinstated the case. The insurer has appealed.

The plaintiffs' motion to vacate the dismissal order was, in substance, a motion for relief from judgment under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540. The plaintiffs argue that Rule 1.540(b) authorizes relief from judgment where there has been a "mistake." Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.540(b)(1). Plaintiffs urge that there was a "mistake" in this case. Plaintiffs contend that the trial court misapprehended the state of the record and that the plaintiffs were in compliance, or substantial compliance, with the outstanding discovery requests.

Unfortunately, this type of error does not qualify as a "mistake" for purposes of Rule 1.540(b). As stated in Curbelo v. Ullman, 571 So.2d 443 (Fla. 1990), "Mistakes which result from oversight, neglect or accident are subject to correction under rule 1.540(b)(1). However, judicial error such as a `mistaken view of the law' is not one of the circumstances contemplated by the rule." Id. at 445 (citations omitted); see also Masot v. Hoteles Doral, C.A., 645 So.2d 184, 185 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994). As the Curbelo court explained, "Curbelo had notice of the proceedings and had ample time to move for a new trial or file a notice of appeal. As long as Curbelo had these regular avenues of relief available to him, he was not denied due process." 571 So.2d at 445 (citations omitted). Similarly here, the plaintiffs' remedy was to file a timely motion for rehearing, or appeal. A Rule 1.540 motion was not available under these circumstances.

Accordingly, we have no alternative but to reverse the order now under review.


Summaries of

Allstate Ins. v. Ramjit

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District
Jul 5, 2001
788 So. 2d 402 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2001)
Case details for

Allstate Ins. v. Ramjit

Case Details


Court:District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District

Date published: Jul 5, 2001


788 So. 2d 402 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2001)

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