Crown v. Chase Home Finance, ___ So. 3d ___, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D1703 (Fla. 5th DCA 7/30/10)

The trial court abused its discretion by denying the defendants’ motion to amend their answer after the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment and the pro se defendants retained counsel.  The refusal to allow an amendment “generally constitutes an abuse of discretion unless it clearly appears that allowing the amendment would prejudice the opposing party, the privilege to amend has been abused, or amendment would be futile.” Because these factors were absent and the denial of amendment “preclude[d] the case from being resolved on its merits,” the motion to amend should have been granted.