Florida Procedures: Todd is thinking about suing Marie. Todd has not yet served a complaint but sends a demand for jury trial to Marie’s counsel. Is the demand valid?

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No, in this case, Todd's demand for a jury trial would not be considered valid by Florida courts. To find the answer to this question, you have to look at the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. These are rules that guide the practices of courts across the state. The rule...

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No, in this case, Todd's demand for a jury trial would not be considered valid by Florida courts. To find the answer to this question, you have to look at the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. These are rules that guide the practices of courts across the state. The rule you want to look at is 1.430, regarding Demand For Jury Trial; Waiver. Specifically, you'll want to consider section (b), which states:

"Any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other party a demand therefore in writing at any time after commencement of this action."

The keyword in this rule is "after". An action isn't commenced until the plaintiff files a complaint. So, Todd would have to file his complaint before being able to request a jury trial. Plaintiffs generally just include their demand for a jury trial in their initial complaint. However, if Todd didn't, then Rule 1.430(b) says that he would have up to 10 days after filing the last pleading directed to the suit to specify his desire for a jury trial. This gives him the opportunity to receive a jury trial even he messes up and fails to request one with his initial case filing.

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