Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.525 requires that any party seeking to tax attorney’s fees and costs “shall serve a motion no later than 30 days after filing of the judgment, including a judgment of dismissal, or the service of a notice of voluntary dismissal.”
In Ramle International Corporation v. The Greens Condominium Association, ____ So.3d ____ (Fla. 3rd DCA February 10, 2010), final summary judgment was entered in favor of Ramle and against The Greens. The summary judgment found that Ramle was entitled to attorneys fees and costs, and reserved jurisdiction to determine the amount of those fees and costs. Some 11 months later, Ramle filed its motion to determine attorney’s fees and costs. The Greens opposed the motions for fees and costs citing Rule 1.525.
The 3rd DCA, quoting the Supreme Court’s decision of Amerus Life Ins. Co. v. Lait, 2 So.3d 203 (Fla. 2009), held
Once the trial court determines that the prevailing party is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs, the losing party is aware that it is required to pay the fees and costs. At that point, the concerns of prejudice and unfair surprise to the losing party are eliminated, thus eliminating the need to apply the thirty-day time requirement under rule 1.525.
I previously blogged on the Lait decision here