Beyond Billing, Inc. v. Spine and Orthopedic Center, P.C.
5/3/23, Judge Silberman
Topics: Arbitration; Writ of Mandamus
The parties attended non-binding arbitration. The arbitrator entered an award in Beyond Billing’s favor. Less than 20 days later, the parties executed and filed a joint stipulated motion to amend the case management order. The joint motion acknowledged that arbitration had occurred, and it stipulated that the parties required additional time to conduct discovery and to add new claims to the case. It also stated that the case would be “ready for trial” at the projected trial date previously set by the court.
After 20 days had passed following the arbitration award, Beyond Billing moved the trial court to enter a final judgment in its favor per the arbitration award, but the trial court declined.
Beyond Billing filed a petition for a writ of mandamus that asked the DCA to compel the circuit court to a final judgment on the arbitration award. Beyond Billing argued that the court had a ministerial duty to enter the award because no one filed a motion for a trial de novo within 20 days after the service of the arbitration award on the parties, as provided in section 44.103(5), Fla. Stat., and Rule 1.820(h), Fla. R. Civ. P.
The DCA denied the petition, finding that a formal motion for trial de novo is not required to satisfy Rule 1.820. It found that the joint stipulated motion to amend the case management order “sufficiently indicated the parties’ mutual desire and intent to proceed to trial.”