Florida courts will allow correction of clerical mistakes, such as an incorrect party name, when the interests of justice require it. In the case of Lake Charleston Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Haswell, the attorney for the HOA named the wrong entity. In response, the association’s attorney took the position that the incorrect name resulted from a clerical error. And, they asked the court to correct it for purposes of the lawsuit.
The court determined there was no intent to defraud by the association’s counsel. But, the court granted Haswell’s motion for relief from the final judgment. This is because the affidavit upon which it was based was wrong. The 4th DCA reversed the lower court stating that it misapplied its findings of fact to the law regarding the standard for relief from judgments. The lower court had to reinstate the final judgment.
This case illustrates Florida courts’ continuing efforts to see that justice is done. This is even where technical problems arise, i.e., when clerical mistakes happen. This is especially so where a court sits as a court of equity, such as in foreclosure cases. The Florida Supreme Court has recognized that foreclosure is an equitable remedy. And, that the ends of justice are to be considered. When strict enforcement of the rules of practice tends to prevent or jeopardize the administration of justice, the rules yield to that higher purpose.
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