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Recent Changes to Florida Appellate Rules of Procedure

February 18, 2020

By: Jennifer R. Dixon

In January 2020, the Florida Supreme Court adopted three subtle, but significant changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure:

  1. Rule 9.130(a)(3)(C) was amended to clarify language regarding nonfinal orders denying certain categories of immunity (i.e. qualified immunity in a federal civil rights claim, immunity under § 768.28, Florida Statues, and sovereign immunity). The amendment eliminates any requirement that a challenged order expressly deny immunity “as a matter of law.” The result is that any order denying entitlement to the specified immunities is immediately appealable as a matter of right. This amendment did not address orders denying workers compensation immunity. Instead, the court referred that issue to the appellate rules committee for further consideration. This amendment was effective on January 23, 2020.
  2. Rule 9.130(a)(3)(C) was further amended to add to the growing list of reviewable nonfinal orders. Effective April 1, 2020, nonfinal orders for permanent guardianships for dependent children pursuant to § 39.6221, Florida Statutes, will be immediately reviewable by appeal, as a matter of right.
  3. 3. Rule 9.200 was amended to allow attorneys and parties to obtain unredacted records without having to first obtain an order from the appellate court in every case. This amendment will also go into effect on April 1, 2020.

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