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Proposal For Settlements: Will Asking The Court For An Extension For Time Enlarge The Time Period To Accept?

In Ochoa v. Koppel, __ So. 3d __, 2016 WL 2941099 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal addressed whether filing a motion seeking to enlarge time to accept a proposal for settlement in a car accident claim would stop the 30-day period for accepting the proposal until the court decides the motion. In the underlying case, Ochoa had filed a proposal for settlement and one day prior to the 30-day period to accept the proposal expired, Koppel filed a motion seeking to lengthen the time in which to respond to the proposal. The hearing on the motion did not occur until two months later and after the hearing, (before the trial court rendered a decision on the motion) Koppel accepted Ochoa’s proposal for settlement. Ochoa asked the court to dismiss the acceptance as untimely. The trial court agreed with Koppel, finding that “her filing of a motion to enlarge time under rule 1.090 tolled the thirty-day period in which she was authorized to accept the proposal,” and it granted her motion to enforce settlement. Ochoa appealed, arguing that the filing of a rule 1.090 motion to enlarge the time to accept a proposal for settlement does not toll the 30-day period for accepting the proposal until the court decides the motion. The appellate court agreed, reversed, and certified conflict with Goldy v. Corbett Cranes Services, Inc., 692 So. 2d 225 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997).

Read the entire opinion here:





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