Failure to File an Appeal On Time
Florida Legal Malpractice Lawyers
Failure to file an appeal within 30 days
The general rule in Florida is that you have 30 days from the date of a final order to file your notice of appeal. Failure to file the notice of appeal within the 30-day time period can bar you from exercising your appellate rights. If you retained an attorney for purposes of filing an appeal, and the appeal wasn’t timely filed, that can amount to a Florida legal malpractice claim.
What is a final order?
Orders become final when a court enters a judgment in a case that completely disposes of all issues as well as any counterclaims. Oral orders aren’t final orders. The final order must be written, signed by the judge, and filed with the clerk of court. The 30-day period starts running when the order is filed.
Collateral matters don’t stop the clock
Certain issues known as collateral matters — like a hearing on a motion for attorney fees — won’t stop the 30 days from running, regardless of the fact that those collateral matters haven’t been heard or decided yet. Other motions that are timely filed and specified in the highly complex Rule 9.020(h) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure will postpone the 30-day period.
Appeals from orders that aren’t final
There is authority permitting appeal of orders that aren’t final, but it’s very limited, and the applicable statute is strictly construed. In those instances, a party has 30 days from the date of entry of an order that isn’t final within which to file what’s known as an interlocutory appeal. If an interlocutory appeal isn’t filed, the appellant can still raise an interlocutory issue in his or her appeal after a final order, so long as the record has been properly protected.
What needs to be filed within 30 days?
The 30-day clock stops running when a filing fee is paid, and the notice of appeal along with the order being appealed is filed with the trial court. Filing fees differ from county to county.