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De Novo Appellate Standard Of Review For Summary Judgments

De Novo Appellate Standard

An appellate court’s standard of review when reviewing a trial court’s summary judgment is de novo. Volusia County v. Aberdeen at Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So.2d 126 (Fla. 2000); accord L’Etoile Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Fresolone, 940 So.2d 1170 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006). A de novo standard of review means that the appellate court will examine the trial court’s record anew and will rule on the record evidence and law without giving any deference to the trial court. This is a favorable standard of review for an appellant (party appealing trial court’s ruling) because there is no deference afforded to the trial court’s findings.

As explained by the Fifth District Court of Appeal:

In order to determine the propriety of a summary judgment, a reviewing court should determine whether there is any genuine issue regarding any material fact and whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The party seeking summary judgment has the burden to prove conclusively the nonexistence of any genuine issue of material fact. On appeal, a reviewing court should consider the evidence contained in the record, including any supporting affidavits, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. If the slightest doubt exists, of course, summary judgment must be reversed.

Delta Fire Sprinklers, Inc. v. OneBeacon Ins. Co., 937 So. 2d 695, 697-98 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006) (internal citations omitted).


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