final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower
Tribunal No. 14-12235, Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat, Judge.
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., and Chris W. Altenbernd and
Mariko Shitama Outman (Tampa), for appellant.
Offices of Daniel J. Tibbitt, and Daniel Tibbit; Duncan Trial
& Family Law, and Michael L. Duncan (Jacksonville), for
SUAREZ, C.J., and LAGOA and SCALES, JJ.
Patel (the "Wife") appeals from a final judgment of
dissolution of marriage and an order denying her motion to
vacate final judgment and for rehearing and reconsideration.
Because the trial court erred in determining that the Wife
did not file a counter-petition seeking any form of relief,
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
the second time this matter has come before this Court. In
Shah v. Shah, 178 So.3d 70 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015), this
Court reversed the trial court's entry of final judgment
after finding that the Wife's due process rights were
violated when the trial court expanded the scope of the
scheduled hearing into a final hearing without proper notice.
Id. at 70-71. This Court declined to address any of
the other issues raised on appeal and remanded the matter to
the trial court for further proceedings.
remand, the trial court held a final hearing on April 18,
2016. At the end of the hearing, the trial court concluded
that the marriage was irretrievably broken and orally ruled:
There are no marital assets acquired, no marital assets to be
divided, based on the sworn statement of your husband and
your statement that you have no proof that any such asset has
been acquired, therefore there is nothing to divide. As to
the alimony that you keep bringing up, you bring it up over
and over, you did not file a counter petition. There is no
proof provided by you that your husband has this substantial
living standard that you claim he has.
3, 2016, the trial court rendered a written final judgment
consistent with its earlier oral ruling. In its written
order, the trial court found that "[t]he only Petition
framing the issues before th[e] Court was the Husband's
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage as the Wife did not file
any Counter-Petition." The trial court further found
that there were no marital assets because the Wife "was
never able to produce any proof or information regarding any
marital assets" and "the Husband [had] testified
that there were no assets that were acquired during the
marriage." The trial court also denied the Wife's
request for alimony because "the Wife did not file
Counter-Petition seeking any form of relief, she only filed
an Answer." This appeal ensued.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the trial court's final judgment is primarily based upon
its finding that the Wife's "Reply" did not
constitute a counter-petition, we review the legal
sufficiency of the Wife's pleading de novo. See
Jarrard v. Jarrard, 157 So.3d 332, 337 (Fla. 2d DCA
2015) ("Whether the pleading is legally sufficient in