Orlando, FL asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Florida

Q: Owner/tenant contract w/GenCon. All invoices paid, owner sued for unpaid inv. from subCont., default win due to error?

The owner disputed and file a motion to dismiss as all invoices presented by the General Contractor was paid. The owner submitted copies of the contract and all payments made. Due to a missing defendant's name in the power of attorney letter (for property manager), the case was never heard and a default judgement was entered in the plaintiff's favor. Can the owner file another motion and if so, what else should be included? Thanks,

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: If it was a final judgment the court does not have jurisdiction to hear any other motions except for post-judgment motions under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.530 and 1.540 (15 day deadline to file) or a motion for attorneys' fees and costs (30 day deadline to file) if applicable.

Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe agrees with this answer

Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Saint Augustine, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: When a default judgment has been entered, in this case presumably by the judge and not simply a clerk's default, it is long past time for the property owner to obtain actual legal advice from an experienced construction litigator as to the specific facts of this matter. There may be grounds to attack a default, however, there are very rigid and complex requirements for any such motion and strict time limits as noted by Attorney Stage.

If the questioner in this matter is the property manager, the questioner cannot represent the owner in litigation (no such thing as a power of attorney in lawsuits, only actual attorneys) nor should it be obtaining and providing legal advice for another as this is engaging in the unlicensed practice of law and and is inviting itself to be sued by the property owner. Property manager might also wish to consult with its own experienced business litigation counsel about the best way to extricate itself from this situation.

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