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Florida Rules of Civil Procedure

1.140 Defenses

(a) When Presented.

(1) Unless a different time is prescribed in a statute of Florida, a defendant shall serve an answer within 20 days after service of original process and the initial pleading on the defendant, or not later than the date fixed in a notice by publication. A party served with a pleading stating a crossclaim against that party shall serve an answer to it within 20 days after service on that party. The plaintiff shall serve an answer to a counterclaim within 20 days after service of the counterclaim. If a reply is required, the reply shall be served within 20 days after service of the answer.

(2) (A) Except when sued pursuant to section 768.28, Florida Statutes, the state of Florida, an agency of the state, or an officer or employee of the state sued in an official capacity shall serve an answer to the complaint or crossclaim, or a reply to a counterclaim, within 40 days after service. (B) When sued pursuant to section 768.28, Florida Statutes, the Department of Financial Services or the defendant state agency shall have 30 days from the date of service within which to serve an answer to the complaint or crossclaim or a reply to a counterclaim.

(3) The service of a motion under this rule, except a motion for judgment on the pleadings or a motion to strike under subdivision (f), alters these periods of time so that if the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleadings shall be served within 10 days after notice of the court's action or, if the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleadings shall be served within 10 days after service of the more definite statement unless a different time is fixed by the court in either case.

(4) If the court permits or requires an amended or responsive pleading or a more definite statement, the pleading or statement shall be served within 10 days after notice of the court's action. Responses to the pleadings or statements shall be served within 10 days of service of the pleadings or statements.

(b) How Presented. Every defense in law or fact to a claim for relief in a pleading shall be asserted in the responsive pleading, if one is required, but the following defenses may be made by motion at the option of the pleader:

(1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter,
(2) lack of jurisdiction over the person,
(3) improper venue,
(4) insufficiency of process,
(5) insufficiency of service of process,
(6) failure to state a cause of action, and
(7) failure to join indispensable parties.

A motion making any of these defenses shall be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. The grounds on which any of the enumerated defenses are based and the substantial matters of law intended to be argued shall be stated specifically and with particularity in the responsive pleading or motion. Any ground not stated shall be deemed to be waived except any ground showing that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter may be made at any time. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion. If a pleading sets forth a claim for relief to which the adverse party is not required to serve a responsive pleading, the adverse party may assert any defense in law or fact to that claim for relief at the trial, except that the objection of failure to state a legal defense in an answer or reply shall be asserted by motion to strike the defense within 20 days after service of the answer or reply.

(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. After the pleadings are closed, but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings.

(d) Preliminary Hearings. The defenses 1 to 7 in subdivision (b) of this rule, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment in subdivision (c) of this rule shall be heard and determined before trial on application of any party unless the court orders that the hearing and determination shall be deferred until the trial.

(e) Motion for More Definite Statement. If a pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, that party may move for a more definite statement before interposing a responsive pleading. The motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the motion is granted and the order of the court is not obeyed within 10 days after notice of the order or such other time as the court may fix, the court may strike the pleading to which the motion was directed or make such order as it deems just.

(f) Motion to Strike. A party may move to strike or the court may strike redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter from any pleading at any time.

(g) Consolidation of Defenses. A party who makes a motion under this rule may join with it the other motions herein provided for and then available to that party. If a party makes a motion under this rule but omits from it any defenses or objections then available to that party that this rule permits to be raised by motion, that party shall not thereafter make a motion based on any of the defenses or objections omitted, except as provided in subdivision (h)(2) of this rule.

(h) Waiver of Defenses.

(1) A party waives all defenses and objections that the party does not present either by motion under subdivisions (b), (e), or (f) of this rule or, if the party has made no motion, in a responsive pleading except as provided in subdivision (h)(2).

(2) The defenses of failure to state a cause of action or a legal defense or to join an indispensable party may be raised by motion for judgment on the pleadings or at the trial on the merits in addition to being raised either in a motion under subdivision (b) or in the answer or reply. The defense of lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter may be raised at any time.

 

Links

Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
1.010 Scope and Title of Rules
1.030 Nonverification of Pleadings
1.040 One Form of Action
1.050 When Action Commenced
1.060 Transfers of Actions
1.061 Choice of Forum
1.070 Process
1.080 Service of Pleadings and Papers
1.090 Time
1.100 Pleadings and Motions
1.110 General Rules of Pleading
1.120 Pleading Special Matters
1.130 Attaching Copy of Cause of Action and Exhibits
1.140 Defenses
1.150 Sham Pleadings
1.160 Motions
1.170 Counterclaims and Crossclaims
1.180 Third-party Practice
1.190 Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
1.200 Pretrial Procedure
1.201 Complex Litigation
1.210 Parties
1.220 Class Actions
1.221 Homeowners and Condominium Assocs
1.222 Mobile Homeowners Assoc
1.230 Intervention
1.240 Interpleader
1.250 Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties
1.260 Survivor, Substitution of Parties
1.270 Consolidation, Separate Trials
1.280 General Provisions Governing Discovery
1.290 Depositions Before Action or Pending Appeal
1.300 Persons Before Whom Depositions May Be Taken
1.310 Depositions Upon Oral Examination
1.320 Depositions Upon Written Questions
1.330 Use of Depositions in Court Proceedings
1.340 Interrogatories to Parties
1.350 Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection
1.351 Production of Documents and Things Without Deposition
1.360 Examination of Persons
1.370 Requests for Admission
1.380 Failure to Make Discovery, Sanctions
1.390 Depositions of Expert Witnesses
1.410 Subpoena
1.420 Dismissal of Actions
1.430 Demand for Jury Trial, Waiver
1.431 Trial Jury
1.440 Setting Action for Trial
1.442 Proposals for Settlement
1.450 Evidence
1.452 Questions by Jurors
1.455 Juror Notebooks
1.460 Continuances
1.470 Exceptions Unnecessary, Jury Instructions
1.480 Motion for a Directed Verdict
1.481 Verdicts
1.490 Magistrates
1.500 Defaults and Final Judgments Thereon
1.510 Summary Judgment
1.520 View
1.525 Motions For Costs and Attorneys Fees
1.530 Motions For New Trial and Rehearing; Amendments of Judgments
1.540 Relief from Judgment, Decrees or Orders
1.550 Executions and Final Process
1.560 Discovery in Aid of Execution
1.570 Enforcement of Final Judgments
1.580 Writ of Possession
1.590 Process in Behalf of and Against Persons Not Parties
1.600 Deposits in Court
1.610 Injunctions
1.620 Receivers
1.625 Proceedings Against Surety on Judicial Bonds
1.630 Extraordinary Remedies
1.650 Medical Malpractice Presuit Screening Rule
1.700 Rules Common to Mediation and Arbitration
1.710 Mediation Rules
1.720 Mediation Procedures
1.730 Completion of Mediation
1.750 County Court Actions
1.800 Exclusion From Arbitration
1.810 Selection and Compensation of Arbitrators
1.820 Hearing Procedures for Non-binding Arbitration
1.830 Voluntary Binding Arbitration
1.900 Forms
 
Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure
Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Florida Rules of Evidence - Evidence Code
Florida Rules of Evidence - Witnesses, Records and Documents
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Florida Traffic Court Rules
 
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