Well they are going through the motions, but the chances of them having the suit dismissed are unlikely.
When someone is sued, they have to file an answer within the time allotted:
" Unless a different time is prescribed in a statute of Florida, a defendant shall serve an answer within 20 days after service of original process and the initial pleading on the defendant, or not later than the date fixed in a notice by publication. A party served with a pleading stating a crossclaim against that party shall serve an answer to it within 20 days after service on that party. The plaintiff shall serve an answer to a counterclaim
within 20 days after service of the counterclaim. If a reply is required, the reply shall be served within 20 days after service of the answer." Florida Rules of Civil Procedure RULE 1.140
Not doing so can cause a default judgment under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure RULE 1.500
, which is what happened.
They never filed an answer, nor did they ever even file a motion for continuance for the date set for the hearing. They did not show up. They disregarded everything.
In short, provided that one illustrates that:
1) They never filed an answer; and
2) They were served properly; and
3) They never showed up to the hearing after properly being noticed
...then the chances of them winning the vacate judgment motion are slim.Also, is there anything in particular I should prepare for this hearing other than the information applicable to the timeline above?
Yes. Someone in your situation may wish to:
1) Go to the court and get a COPY of all the paperwork and ensure that the Court has proof of them being served (make a copy of that too);
2) Construct a timeline of what happened and keep it handy for the hearing; and
3) Show the Court that they were properly served and properly noticed of the hearing properly, and filed to answer and show up, respectively.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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