Florida Declaratory Judgment Attorney
Do you believe that you need to consult with and hire a Florida declaratory judgment attorney? Let’s go through the principles and undergirding of what a Florida declaratory judgment is and then see if you believe you need a Florida declaratory judgment attorney. The pertinent portions of the Florida declaratory judgment statutes will appear throughout this article on declaratory relief.
By way of case background, in Higgins v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 894 So. 2d 5, 10–11 (Fla. 2004), the Florida Supreme Court decided that Florida’s declaratory judgment statutes (Chapter 86 to be precise) authorize declaratory judgments when it is necessary to resolve issues of fact, meaning determining the rights of the parties involved. According to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, declaratory judgments may also assist the parties brought into an action in understanding whether they have a duty to defend against a lawsuit. In the absence of such a declaratory judgment, the clarification of the rights of the parties would be discouraged. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Conde, 595 So. 2d 1005(Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1992).
Case Law Presented by a Florida Declaratory Judgment Attorney
More recently, the Fourth District Court of Appeals decided that “Because Transportation was entitled to a declaration of its rights, even if it had a remedy of rescission, the trial court erred in dismissing the complaint. We thus reverse and remand for further proceedings in the declaratory judgment action.” Transportation Cas. Ins. Co. v. Soil Tech Distributors, Inc., 966 So. 2d 8, 10 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). A Florida declaratory judgment attorney has the knowledge and experience of understanding when to pursue a cause of action for this type of relief.
Mimicking case law and Statutory precedent, the First DCA rendered a ruling that says a great deal and provides foundational guidance for potential or forced litigants: “Before any proceeding for declaratory relief should be entertained it should be clearly made to appear that there is a bona fide, actual, present practical need for the declaration…[there must be a] present controversy as to a state of facts; that some immunity, power, privilege or right of the complaining party is dependent upon the facts or the law applicable to the facts; that there is some person or persons who have, or reasonably may have an actual, present, adverse and antagonistic interest in the subject matter, either in fact or law; that the antagonistic and adverse interests are all before the court by proper process or class representation and that the relief sought is not merely the giving of legal advice by the courts or the answer to questions propounded from curiosity.” Ahearn v. Mayo Clinic, 180 So. 3d 165 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015). This language is about jurisdiction, venue, standing, and due process rights, among other issues. The Court sought to clarify all of the requirements for bringing and sustaining a declaratory action, even one that may necessarily precede a subsequent lawsuit. Preceding this ruling, in another case, the Fourth DCA decided that “An insurer may file a declaratory action in order to determine whether an insurance policy is voidable. See United Servs. Auto. Ass’n v. Clarke, 757 So.2d 554, 555 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000).” Of course, depending on the outcome of a strictly declaratory action, additional causes may (permissively) or must (compulsorily) be brought forward.
For your reference, we have sought to provide the relevant Florida Declaratory Judgment Statutes so that you may further understand what declaratory relief is. Consider hiring the Jacobs Law Firm, and its Florida declaratory relief attorney, to help you determine your rights.
Florida Declaratory Judgments Statutes
The sections of the Florida declaratory judgments Statutes, chapter 86, Florida Statutes (2003), that are frequently pertinent to declaratory judgment actions are:
86.011 Jurisdiction of trial court. The circuit and county courts have jurisdiction within their respective jurisdictional amounts to declare rights, status, and other equitable or legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed…. The court may render declaratory judgments on the existence, or nonexistence:
(1) Of any immunity, power, privilege, or right; or
(2) Of any fact upon which the existence or nonexistence of such immunity, power, privilege, or right does or may depend, whether such immunity, power, privilege, or right now exists or will arise in the future. …
86.021 Power to construe.-Any person claiming to be interested or who may be in doubt about his or her rights under a … contract … or whose rights, status, or other equitable or legal relations are affected by a … contract … may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under such … contract … or any part thereof, and obtain a declaration of rights, status, or other equitable or legal relations thereunder.
86.071 Jury trials.-When an action under this chapter concerns the determination of an issue of fact, the issue may be tried as issues of fact are tried in other civil actions in the court in which the proceeding is pending. To settle questions of fact necessary to be determined before judgment can be rendered, the court may direct their submission to a jury….
Ultimately, if you are knowledgeable in the area of declaratory and civil law, you are fortunate and likely scholarly. If you need the help of an experienced Florida declaratory judgment attorney, call us today.