(1) This section shall provide the exclusive offer of judgment provisions for eminent domain actions.
(2) The petitioner may serve a defendant with an offer of judgment no sooner than 120 days after the defendant has filed an answer and no later than 20 days prior to trial.
(3) A defendant may make an offer to have judgment entered against defendant for payment of compensation by petitioner only for an amount that is under $100,000, and such offer may be served on petitioner no sooner than 120 days after the defendant has filed an answer and no later than 20 days prior to trial.
(4)(a) The offer of judgment must:
1. Be in writing;
2. Settle all pending claims with that party or parties exclusive of attorney’s fees and costs;
3. State that the offer is made pursuant to this section;
4. Name the parties to whom the offer is made;
5. Briefly summarize any relevant conditions;
6. State the total amount of the offer; and
7. Include a certificate of service.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 73.032
- writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See N.Y. Education Law 661 - Eligibility requirements and conditions governing awards and loans
(b) The offer of judgment must be served in the same manner as other pleadings upon the parties to whom it is made, but may not be filed with the court unless it is accepted or unless filing is necessary to enforce this section.
(c) The offer of judgment shall be deemed rejected unless accepted by filing both a written acceptance and the written offer with the court within 30 days after service of the offer, or before the trial begins if less than 30 days. Upon proper filing of both the offer and acceptance, the court shall enter judgment thereon. A rejection of an offer terminates the offer.
(d) The party making the offer may withdraw the offer in a writing served on the opposing party before a written acceptance is filed with the court. Once withdrawn in this manner, an offer is void.
(e) An offer of judgment which is rejected or which is withdrawn does not preclude the making of a subsequent offer of judgment; however, any such subsequent offer of judgment shall automatically void the prior offer of judgment as if the same had never been made.
(5) If a defendant does not accept the offer of judgment made by the petitioner and the judgment obtained by the defendant, exclusive of any interest accumulated after the offer of judgment was initially made, is equal to or less than such offer, then the court shall not award any costs incurred by the defendant after the date the offer of judgment was rejected.
(6) If the petitioner rejects the offer of judgment made by defendant and the judgment obtained by defendant, exclusive of any interest accumulated after the offer of judgment was initially made, is equal to or is more than such offer, then the court shall award a reasonable attorney’s fee to the defendant based on the factors set forth in s. 73.092(2) and (3).
(7) At the time an offer of judgment is made by the petitioner, the petitioner shall identify and make available to the defendant the construction plans, if any, for the project on which the offer is based.
(8) Evidence of an offer of judgment is admissible only in proceedings to enforce an accepted offer or to determine the costs to be awarded a defendant pursuant to subsection (5) or a reasonable attorney’s fee pursuant to subsection (6).