October 18, 2022

Reversal Upon Rehearing: How Seeking an Appeal Led to Win on Rehearing

SSRGA appellate attorneys were recently retained to represent a respondent in an appeal of the Florida trial court’s issuance of a final judgment of injunction for protection against repeat violence. Having represented herself pro se during the injunction hearing, the client sought assistance from SSRGA to overturn the final judgment that resulted in a permanent injunction against her.

SSRGA evaluated the final judgment and recognized that it suffered from evidentiary errors rendering the judgment deficient and ripe for success on appeal. Prior to filing a notice of appeal, the SSRGA team discussed with the client the benefit of moving for rehearing given the deficiencies in the final judgment.

Pursuant to Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.530, SSRGA filed a motion for rehearing to reopen the case, vacate the judgment, and address the deficiencies in the court’s findings. Recent changes in Rule 12.530(a) now require a party to file such motion to preserve for appeal a challenge to the sufficiency of a court’s findings in a final judgment. This rule permits the court to reopen the judgment, take additional testimony, and enter a new judgment.

With the motion for rehearing pending, SSRGA filed a notice of appeal to timely preserve the client’s rights to appeal the final judgment and to notify the appellate court of the pending motion.
The trial court ultimately reversed course by granting the rehearing motion and setting a new evidentiary hearing. Upon additional testimony on rehearing, the court vacated the permanent injunction and entered a temporary expiring injunction. This temporary injunction lacked the lasting, negative repercussions of a permanent injunction on our client.

In the instant case, the client benefitted from the appellate team’s preservation of her right to appeal through both the motion for rehearing and notice of appeal, in addition to SSRGA’s zealous representation on rehearing. After success on rehearing, the client voluntarily dismissed the pending appeal.

Reversal upon rehearing resulted in a favorable win for our appellate client.