What Is A Florida Ejectment?
Ejectments in Florida are legal actions seeking possession of real property and the remedy is the removal of a person that does not legally have the right be in possession of that real property. Additionally, that unwanted person in possession is claiming either an interest, right or title in the real property.
Some Ejectments in Florida first begin as an eviction or unlawful detainer action in county court and are later transferred to circuit to be tried as an Ejectment. When a situation like this occurs, the party seeking possession most likely attempted to have the matter quickly disposed of through Florida Statute §51.011, Summary Procedure. This statute allows for an expedited county court proceeding that typically takes about 4-6 weeks from the date of filing the lawsuit through the date of regaining possession.
Although the speedy Summary Procedure process is not available with Ejectments, where the circuit court has exclusive jurisdiction, in 2021 Ejectment actions got a push in the right direction for having a more controlled path to the finish line. Specifically, all of Florida’s 20 Judicial Circuits have implemented case management plans to help clear out the backlog of cases and keep certain circuit court cases moving forward without unnecessary delay. Ejectments fall under these guidelines.
What Is The Law?
Chapter 66, of the Florida Statutes governs Ejectments in Florida. While there are several statutes that make up this chapter, the two (2) most important in regaining possession are §66.021 and §66.031.
(1) RIGHT OF ACTION.—A person with a superior right to possession of real property may maintain an action of ejectment to recover possession of the property.
(2) JURISDICTION.—Circuit courts have exclusive jurisdiction in an action of ejectment.
(3) NOTICE.—A plaintiff may not be required to provide any presuit notice or presuit demand to a defendant as a condition to maintaining an action under this section.
(4) LANDLORD NOT A DEFENDANT.—When it appears before trial that a defendant in an action of ejectment is in possession as a tenant and that his or her landlord is not a party, the landlord must be made a party before further proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(5) DEFENSE MAY BE LIMITED.—A defendant in an action of ejectment may limit his or her defense to a part of the property mentioned in the complaint, describing such part with reasonable certainty.
(6) WRIT OF POSSESSION; EXECUTION TO BE JOINT OR SEVERAL.—When plaintiff recovers in an action of ejectment, he or she may have one writ for possession and for damages and costs or, at his or her election, may have separate writs for possession and for damages and costs.
(7) CHAIN OF TITLE.—The complaint and the answer must include a statement setting forth, chronologically, the chain of title upon which the party will rely at trial. Copies of each instrument identified in the statement must be attached to the complaint or answer. The statement must include the names of the grantors and the grantees, the date that each instrument was recorded, and the book and page or the instrument number for each recorded instrument. If a party relies on a claim or right without color of title, the statement must specify how and when the claim originated and the facts on which the claim is based. If defendant and plaintiff claim under a common source, the statement need not deraign title before the common source.
(8) TESTING SUFFICIENCY.—If either party seeks to test the legal sufficiency of any instrument or court proceeding in the chain of title of the opposite party, the party must do so before trial by motion setting up his or her objections with a copy of the instrument or court proceedings attached. The motion must be disposed of before trial. If either party determines that he or she will be unable to maintain his or her claim by reason of the order, that party may so state in the record and final judgment shall be entered for the opposing party.
(9) OPERATION.—This section is cumulative to other existing remedies and may not be construed to limit other remedies that are available under the laws of this state.
66.031 Verdict and judgment.
(1) VERDICT.—A verdict for plaintiff shall state the quantity of the estate of plaintiff, and describe the land by metes and bounds, lot number or other certain description.
(2) JUDGMENT.—The judgment awarding possession shall state the quantity of the estate and give a description of the land recovered in like manner.