Re: Florida RCP - Mediation - Rule 1.700
Defendant receives Amended Order for "Mediation" pursuant to Rule 1.700 -- Order states:
"This cause is ready for trial in that notice has been filed that the cause is
at issue. So that an attempt be made to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and
in the interest of judicial economy it is ordered that the parties shall
participate in mediation pursuant to rule 1.700."
I). What event, or Who would have Prompted this Order? i.e. Would the judge just do this himself on his own accord by looking at the Docket? Or would there have to have been a Motion for Mediation, or some type of action from the Plaintiff? Def. was never informed by Defendant's atty of any such movement by Plaintiff.
II). Def. atty sent copy of the Order to Def. saying that the reason it says "Amended" is to "to reflect correct counsel for Def." However, shouldn't Def. have first been notified or been sent notice by Def. atty that there WAS/IS an "Order" issued to begin with -- regardless of the error? Def. never received any such information. That does not quite seem proper does it?
III). Defendant has previously propounded Discovery RFP from Plaintiff. And Plaintiff has continued to evade Discovery for over a year... and so far has supplied ZERO Discovery. Def. is a small company so cannot represent pro se, and Def is trying to reduce legal costs. Def. has not yet filed motion to compel Discovery.
Additionally, under FL Rule 1.700 it states:
(b) Motion to Dispense with Mediation and Arbitration
. A party may move, within 15 days after the order of referral, to dispense with mediation or arbitration if:
(1) the issue to be considered has been previously mediated or arbitrated between the same parties pursuant to Florida law;
(2) the issue presents a question of law only;
(3) the order violates rule 1.710(b) or rule 1.800; or
(4) other good cause is shown.
Can Def. meet #4 by said Motion to Dispense stating Plaintiff has still not answered any Discovery? And is that sufficient cause at this time, or not? And does Def. now need to File MTC or and/or attach a pending MTC to said Motion to Dispense? Or is it too late to argue that Plaintiff has not complied with Discovery? There does not appear to be any place in the docket or other documents that states "Discovery in this case ends on XX date." -- all of a sudden this Order to mediation just pops up without Plaintiff having had to respond to Discovery.
It does not seem fair or proper to be Ordered to mediation without Plaintiff's having had to respond to Discovery. What are your thoughts on the above? Thank you.