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Trial court erred in dismissing a case pursuant to the statute of limitations where service was made prior to the expiration of the statute, albeit defective.

October 1, 2010
Hannah v. Olivo, 38 So. 3d 815 (Fl. Ct. App. June 18, 2010)

The appellant had filed an action against the operator alleging that she suffered personal injuries as the result of the operator's negligent operation of a motor vehicle. The trial court dismissed the appellant's case because of the applicable statute of limitations. The appellate court reversed and remanded, stating that it was error to dismiss the appellant's action where the operator was served with process, albeit defectively, within the time period designated by the trial court. The proper procedure was to quash the service but permit the Action to remain pending. On remand, the trial court must determine whether the service of process alleged to have been effected on July 1, 2008, was valid. If so, the trial court should direct the operator to respond to the complaint. If not, the trial court could direct the appellant to effect service within some reasonable amount of time.

Case Law Alert - 4th Qtr 2010

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