Skip to content Important Changes to Florida’s Proposal for Settlement Rule Takes Effect July 1, 2022


Search Publications

June 2022

Important Changes to Florida’s Proposal for Settlement Rule Takes Effect July 1, 2022

On May 26, 2022, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion that amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442, which governs the procedural requirements for service of proposals of settlement. Specifically, effective July 1, 2022 at 12:01 am, Rule 1.442, subdivisions (c)(2)(C) and (c)(2)(D) are amended “to exclude nonmonetary terms from a proposal for settlement, with the exceptions of a voluntary dismissal of all claims with prejudice and any other nonmonetary terms permitted by statute.”

Per the Court’s Opinion, the intent of the amendments is to “align Rule 1.442 with the substantive elements of Florida’s settlement proposal statutes,” including section 768.79, Florida Statutes. As a result of the amendments, parties will no longer be permitted to attach releases to their proposals for settlement. Rather, acceptance of a proposal for settlement may now only be conditioned upon a “voluntary dismissal.” The Court carved out exceptions to the amendment to account for circumstances in which nonmonetary terms are “permitted by statute.”

The current Rule states that “any relevant conditions” may be included in a settlement proposal. That language was stricken by the Florida Supreme Court from the Rule in May and replaced to reflect that shall “exclude nonmonetary terms.” However, the new Rule provides for exceptions “of a voluntary dismissal of all claims with prejudice and any other nonmonetary terms permitted by statute.” The relevant statute that provides for nonmonetary terms is Florida Statutes §70.001(4)(c). This section includes nonmonetary terms that governmental entities may include in settlement offers whenever government action “inordinately burdens private property rights.” The second change to Rule 1.442 is found in Section (c)(2)(D). The amendment keeps the language that the proposal must state the total amount sought, but strikes out the allowance of all nonmonetary terms. See In re Amendments to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442, SC21-277, 2022 WL 1679398 (Fla. May 26, 2022).

Effective July 1, 2022, Rule 1.442 will no longer permit parties to include non-monetary terms in their Proposals for Settlement. This includes, but is not limited to terms and conditions such as confidentiality, indemnity or hold harmless language, and other conditions material to many settlements. This change is significant for litigants and parties, who, because of their exposures to additional claims, extra-contractual damages, and/or bad faith claims, have generally required releases as part of settlements to ensure finality and put an end to their exposure. In light of the foregoing, those parties who, because of their requirements or exposures to additional claims and/or extra-contractual damages, must give additional consideration to and carefully evaluate and weigh the pros and con before deciding whether a proposal for settlement is the best mechanism for what they wish to accomplish in resolving the underlying litigation. As such, the decision whether to file a proposal for settlement should be discussed with counsel to ensure the benefits and possible ramifications are prudently deliberated and understood.

Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442 and section 768.79, Florida Statutes, are intended to encourage settlement and promote efficient resolution of litigation. While the Florida Supreme Court’s amendments will certainly minimize litigation related to interpreting allegedly ambiguous language in proposals for settlements and their accompanying releases, parties and their counsel must now carefully consider whether a proposal under the new Rule will, indeed, promote efficient resolution of litigation, or, will it only create additional litigation and problems after the service and acceptance of a proposal under the new Rule.


Christina M. Flores Furman
Kristina L. Marsh