CIVIL PROCEDURE: TRIAL COURT LACKED JURISDICTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL FOR LACK OF PROSECUTION BECAUSE A TIMELY MOTION FOR REHEARING OR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT WAS NOT FILED AND THE TRIAL COURT’S ORDER DID NOT CONTAIN THE FINDINGS REQUIRED TO GRANT RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT

Aqua Life Corporation v. Reyes, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D752 (Fla. 3d DCA March 25, 2015)

Eighteen months after it dismissed a case for lack of prosecution, the trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion for status conference, vacated the order of dismissal, set the case for trial, and ordered the parties to attend mediation. The appellate court granted the defendant’s petition for writ of prohibition, and quashed the trial court’s orders because it lacked jurisdiction to enter them. The plaintiff did not file a timely motion for rehearing from the order of dismissal or a motion for relief from judgment, and the order vacating the dismissal did not contain the findings required to grant relief from judgment.

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