CIVIL PROCEDURE: CLASS ACTIONS: JUDGMENTS: AMENDMENT: RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: FRAUD: TIMELINESS: TRIAL COURT LACKED JURISDICTION TO AMEND JUDGMENT TEN YEARS AFTER IT WAS ENTERED: ALTHOUGH TRIAL COURT RETAINED JURISDICTION TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT, AMENDMENT MODIFIED, RATHER THAN ENFORCED, JUDGMENT

Juno Ocean Walk Condominium Association, Inc. v. The North County Company, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D344 (Fla. 4th DCA February 4, 2015)

Ten years after a condominium unit owner opted out of a class action settlement with the developer, the class representative and the unit owner filed a motion to amend judgment to include the unit owner in the settlement because she had been wrongfully induced to opt out by misrepresentations, fraud, threats, and intimidation. The trial court granted the motion without a hearing based on the mistaken impression that it was unopposed, but the appellate court reversed. The trial court lacked jurisdiction to grant relief from judgment, under Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.540(b), based on fraud because the motion to amend was not filed within one year after the judgment was entered, and the record failed to reflect that an independent action had been filed to modify the judgment. Although the trial court retained jurisdiction to enforce the judgment, the amendment could not be sustained on this ground because the trial court modified, rather than enforced, the judgment.

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