CIVIL PROCEDURE: DISTINCTION BETWEEN MOTIONS FOR REHEARING AND MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION: MOTIONS FOR REHEARING ARE TAKEN FROM FINAL ORDERS AND MUST BE FILED WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS: MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION ARE TAKEN FROM NONFINAL ORDERS AND MUST BE FILED BEFORE ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT: NOMENCLATURE IS NOT CONTROLLING: ORDER MODIFYING MAGISTRATE’S REPORT WAS NONFINAL: AS A RESULT, MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION WAS TIMELY, AND TRIAL COURT POSSESSED JURISDICTION TO ENTER SUA SPONTE ORDER VACATING DENIAL OF MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; APPEALS: CERTIORARI: MANDAMUS

Seigler v. Bell, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2012 (Fla. 5th DCA September 19, 2014)

Motions for rehearing are taken from final orders.  A motion for rehearing must be filed within fifteen days.  Motions for reconsideration are taken from nonfinal orders.  A motion for reconsideration may be filed at any time before final judgment is entered. Nomenclature is not controlling.  An order modifying a magistrate’s report, without reducing it to judgment, was not a final order.  As a result, a motion for rehearing or reconsideration from the order was actually a motion for reconsideration, and the fifteen day time limit for motions for rehearing was inapplicable, the motion was timely, and  the trial court was authorized, sua sponte, to vacate its order denying the motion for reconsideration.  The order was not reviewable by certiorari because it did not depart from the essential requirements of law or result in irreparable harm.  In addition, mandamus was unavailable because “the trial court had the authority to enter its sua sponte order.”