Amend a Complaint as a Matter of Course in Florida

Amend Complaint in FL as a Matter of Course Without Court Approval

Looking to amend your original Complaint before you served it? You can do so without leave of court in Florida as a matter of course. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.190(a) allows a Plaintiff to amend its original complaint as a matter of course one time before the Complaint is served. Meaning you can file the Amended Complaint without going to court, asking the judge’s permission or obtaining court approval.

Why Would a Florida Plaintiff Amend its Complaint as a Matter of Course?

There are many reasons why amending a complaint without court approval is an attractive rule. The obvious advantage is it allows a Plaintiff to amend its Complaint without having to go to court. Reasons why you might amend your complaint vary. You may need to amend the original complaint because you noticed an error in the original filing. You may want to change the corporate defendant’s name in the original complaint, yet still have your amended complaint relate back to your original complaint. You may also seek to add a new defendant before you served the prior one. As Boca Raton nursing home abuse lawyers, we encounter this all the time. See below for a real life example.

Amending a Nursing Home Abuse Complaint to Add the Doctor

In this case, we initiated a Chapter 400 Florida nursing home abuse presuit against the negligent nursing home. This presuit is 75 days according to Chapter 400 of the Florida Statutes. We also initiated a Chapter 766 doctor malpractice presuit against the negligent doctor. This is a longer presuit and we granted the doctor’s attorney a voluntary presuit extension as a professional courtesy.

We filed the original Complaint suing the Manor Care nursing home only, but did not serve it. We then waited until the presuit against the negligent doctor lapsed, and filed this Motion to Amend the Original Complaint as a Matter of Course Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 1.190.


COMES NOW the Plaintiff(s), [redacted] as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of [redacted], amend their Complaint as a matter of course, pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.190(a), and add Defendant [Redacted Doctor], and as grounds therefore state as follows:
1. This is a wrongful death lawsuit involving injury and the subsequent wrongful death of [redacted]. The Defendants in this action are the owners/operators of the Manor Care nursing home, and Ms. [redacted] ’s doctor, [Redacted Doctor].
2. The Plaintiff initiated a Chapter 400 presuit against the nursing home defendants and a Chapter 766 presuit against [Redacted Doctor]. At the request of [Redacted Doctor]’s attorney, the Plaintiff agreed to a voluntary extension of the presuit period for [Redacted Doctor]. Plaintiff then completed its Chapter 400 presuit period with the Manor Care defendants, and filed its initial Complaint on or around June 6, 2017, naming the nursing home defendants.
3. Plaintiff did not serve this Complaint.
4. The presuit period with [Redacted Doctor] has now ended. Plaintiff now amends its original Complaint as a matter of course to add [Redacted Doctor] as a Defendant.
5. Pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.190(a), Plaintiff hereby amends its Complaint and files its Amended Complaint (attached as Exhibit A) as a matter of course and pursuant to the rule, the Amended Complaint is hereby filed on the date of this filing.
6. The trial of this case is not set. No responsive pleading has been filed at the original Complaint and the original Complaint was not served on any party. No Defendant will be prejudiced by the granting of this Amendment.
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by Electronic Mail to all Counsel on the attached list, this 21st day of July, 2017.

/s/ Michael J. Brevda
Michael J. Brevda, Esquire
Florida Bar No.: 084048
Senior Justice Law Firm
33 S.E. 5th Street, Suite 105
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Phone: (561) 717-0817
Fax: (561) 708-6781
Attorney for Plaintiff(s)

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