Troy, AL asked in Civil Litigation for Florida

Q: Hello does a hurricane impact the time given to answer a summons? Courts have been closed since the 15th.

My due date is the 20th, courts are not open until the 21st, but my house flooded, I lost all power and electricity so I evacuated to Alabama. Am I required to still e-file on the 20th or will they give an extension to due the circumstances?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You must find out if the Court in your area issued an administrative order extending all deadlines due to the disaster. Lawyers in your area should know. If you can't find that out, or if the Court did not issue such an order, you must meet the deadline, but amongst your options for meeting the deadline is to file a motion for extension of time to respond to the complaint, stating the reasons you need more time, and stating the number of additional days you need. Another option to contact plaintiff's counsel to seek his/her agreement to the extension, and if he/she agrees, get that in writing. Depending on which Court you are in, you might have to file a motion for extension, whether or not he/she agrees. So if you're not sure whether you would need to file the motion when the other side agrees, then file it to be on the safe side.

Terrence H Thorgaard agrees with this answer

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: And you failed to indicate whether you are in a position to e-file from where you are staying. If not, I believe that, if you are not represented by an attorney, you can mail your answer to the clerk of court, with copy to the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney.

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