Bank of New York Mellon v. Clark

            183 So.3d 1271, 1272 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)

            Trial court’s dismissal of foreclosure claim as a sanction for discovery violations was an abuse of discretion because the trial court did not make explicit written findings pursuant to the six “Kozel” factors.  Specially concurring, however, Judge Bradford (Brad) L. Thomas addressed the issue of discovery abuse and stated:

 

Nevertheless, we cannot and do not countenance actions in which litigants disregard discovery deadlines, file meaningless objections, insert boilerplate responses, and file repeated motions for additional time to respond, only to provide insufficient information or documents.  When legal decisions are unduly delayed because one party refuses to perform their legal obligations to comply with discovery rules, it is entirely appropriate for a trial court to carefully consider sanctions when raised by the non-offending party. It is critical to remember that discovery abuses are not merely private matters between private litigants, but are public abuses that violate citizens' proper expectation that the judiciary will ensure that cases are timely resolved.

 

Civil cases lingering in courts for years without final resolution because of lengthy discovery disputes should not be tolerated in courts of law. All involved, judges and litigants, have a solemn responsibility to ensure that inexcusable delays in civil legal proceedings do not occur, and where such are documented, that the delays are appropriately punished. I commend the trial court for its efforts here, but I concur, as I must, for further proceedings in accordance with Kozel.

© 2015 by ACEDS Jacksonville

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