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Florida Fourth DCA declines certiorari review of trial court order granting amendment of complaint to include punitive damages, noting lack of authority to conduct substantive certiorari review

On January 8, 2020, in Sapp v. Olivares, No. 4D19-2190, the Florida Fourth DCA declined to exercise certiorari review of a trial court order granting a plaintiff’s motion to amend a civil complaint to include punitive damages. The Fourth DCA observed that in Globe Newspaper Co. v. King, 658 So. 2d 518, 519 (Fla. 1995), the Florida Supreme Court held that appellate courts have certiorari jurisdiction to review whether a trial judge has conformed with the procedural requirements of section 768.72, but do not have certiorari jurisdiction to review a decision of a trial judge granting leave to amend a complaint to include a claim for punitive damages when the trial judge has followed the procedural requirements of section 768.72. However, the Fourth DCA noted in dicta that several appellate courts and individual judges have questioned the continued efficacy of Globe in modern litigation and suggested an amendment to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130 to permit non-final appeals of orders on motions to amend to add a punitive damage claim.

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