Broward Civil Cases > 2012 > December > 19
American Express Centurion Bank v. Defendant
Case No: CONO12011774
Filed in The 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County Florida
On December 19, 2012, American Express Centurion Bank filed a lawsuit in the 17th Circuit in and for Broward County Florida, County Civil North against Defendant.
Each defendant may have valid defenses and potential counterclaims that are case specific and should speak with a qualified attorney. Contact Mr. Koziol for a free conflict check and case evaluation.
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The rules that follow are general, and do not necessarily apply to the facts of any specific action.
In most civil matters filed in Florida State Courts, a plaintiff has the burden to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence. The mere filing of a case does not mean there is any merit to a plaintiff's case. A party and/or its attorneys may be subject to sanctions for raising unsupported claims or defenses. Fla. Stat. § 57.105 (2012).
A number of defenses must be pled in a response to a complaint or they are waived, including but not limited to accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(d)(2012).
Furthermore, if supported by the law and facts the following defenses may be made before pleading by motion at the option of the pleader:
- lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter,
- lack of jurisdiction over the person,
- improper venue,
- insufficiency of process,
- insufficiency of service of process,
- failure to state a cause of action, and
- failure to join indispensable parties.
Failure to properly raise these defenses and the substantial matters of law upon which they are based may result in waiver of the defense. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(b)(2012). Furthermore, a defendant may also move to strike or the court may strike redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter from any pleading. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.140(f)(2012). Sham pleadings may be stricken after an evidentiary hearing, or the court may issue default and summary judgment on the merits. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.150(a)(2012).
Often defendants have counterclaims that may exceed or prevail over a plaintiff's complaint. These counterclaims should be raised when responding to complaint or they may be waived. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.170(a)(2012).
Generally, Florida law provides twenty (20) days to respond to a complaint, but in some cases this time may be shortened. If a defendant fails to timely respond to a complaint the clerk or Court may enter a default.
Generally, with the exception of small claims cases, corporate defendants must have counsel or a default will be entered against them. Officers and owners appearing on behalf of the corporation that are not licensed attorneys admitted to practice in the Courts of Florida are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. See, e.g., Rafanello v. Bode, 21 So.3d 867, 870 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).
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