Effective January 1, 2019, Florida Court procedural rules relating to service via email have been amended to remove the five (5) extra days allowed for service by regular U.S. mail.

On October 25, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court approved time calculation amendments related to email service recommended by the committees for the Rules of Judicial Administration, the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court’s action removes the reference to email service in Rule of Judicial Administration 2.514(b), which covers service by regular mail. A related change in subdivision (a)(1)(A) provides “that time frames are calculated beginning from the next day following the event that triggers the time frame that is not a weekend or legal holiday.” It further amended Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516; Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.170 (Counterclaims and Crossclaims), 1.260 (Survivor; Substitution of Parties), 1.351 (Production of Documents and Things Without Deposition), 1.410 (Subpoena), 1.440 (Setting Action for Trial), 1.442 (Proposals for Settlement), and 1.510 (Summary Judgment) to refer to the email service time standards in the amended Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516. The time standards in Rule 1.351, which cover notice of intent to serve a subpoena requesting production of documents, is reduced from 15 to 10 days. Rule 1.510(c) was amended so that summary judgment evidence submitted by email is treated the same as evidence that is delivered.

The court also amended Florida Appellate Rules 9.100 (Original Proceedings), 9.110 (Appeal Proceedings to Review Final Orders of Lower Tribunals and Orders Granting New Trial in Jury and Nonjury Cases), 9.120 (Discretionary Proceedings to Review Decisions of District Courts of Appeal), 9.125 (Review of Trial Court Orders and Judgments Certified by the District Courts of Appeal as Requiring Immediate Resolution by the Supreme Court of Florida), 9.130 (Proceedings to Review Nonfinal Orders and Specified Final Orders), 9.140 (Appeal Proceedings in Criminal Cases), 9.141 (Review Proceedings in Collateral or Postconviction Criminal Cases), 9.142 (Procedures for Review in Death Penalty Cases), 9.146 (Appeal Proceedings in Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights Cases and Cases Involving Families and Children in Need of Services), 9.180 (Appeal Proceedings to Review Workers’ Compensation Cases), 9.200 (The Record), 9.210 (Briefs), 9.300 (Motions), 9.320 (Oral Argument), 9.330 (Rehearing; Clarification; Certification; Written Opinion), 9.331 (Determination of Causes in a District Court of Appeal En Banc), 9.350 (Dismissal of Causes), 9.360 (Parties), and 9.410 (Sanctions) to enlarge time frames as proposed.

Whether you have been practicing one year or thirty years, periodic amendments by the Florida Supreme Court to our rules of civil procedure remind us all that we should always be intimately familiar with the effective Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and discussing any amendments with your administrative staff so that they, too, are aware of any important changes that may affect the way they calendar important deadlines.