(a) Pleadings. There shall be a complaint or, when so designated by a statute or rule, a petition, and an answer to it; an answer to a counterclaim denominated as such; an answer to a crossclaim if the answer contains a crossclaim; a third-party complaint if a person who was not an original party is summoned as a third-party defendant; and a third-party answer if a third-party complaint is served. If an answer or third-party answer contains an affirmative defense and the opposing party seeks to avoid it, the opposing party shall file a reply containing the avoidance. No other pleadings shall be allowed.
(b) Motions. An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which shall be made in writing unless made during a hearing or trial, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. The requirement of writing is fulfilled if the motion is stated in a written notice of the hearing of the motion. All notices of hearing shall specify each motion or other matter to be heard.
(c) Caption. (1) Every pleading, motion, order, judgment, or other paper shall have a caption containing the name of the court, the file number, and except for in rem proceedings, including forfeiture proceedings, the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate indication of other parties, and a designation identifying the party filing it and its nature or the nature of the order, as the case may be. In any in rem proceeding, every pleading, motion, order, judgment, or other paper shall have a caption containing the name of the court, the file number, the style “In re” (followed by the name or general description of the property), and a designation of the person or entity filing it and its nature or the nature of the order, as the case may be. In an in rem forfeiture proceeding, the style shall be “In re forfeiture of” (followed by the name or general description of the property). All papers filed in the action shall be styled in such a manner as to indicate clearly the subject matter of the paper and the party requesting or obtaining relief.
(2) A civil cover sheet (form 1.997) shall be completed and filed with the clerk at the time an initial complaint or petition is filed by the party initiating the action. If the cover sheet is not filed, the clerk shall accept the complaint or petition for filing; but all proceedings in the action shall be abated until a properly executed cover sheet is completed and filed. The clerk shall complete the civil cover sheet for a party appearing pro se.
(3) A final disposition form (form 1.998) shall be filed with the clerk by the prevailing party at the time of the filing of the order or judgment which disposes of the action. If the action is settled without a court order or judgment being entered, or dismissed by the parties, the plaintiff or petitioner immediately shall file a final disposition form (form 1.998) with the clerk. The clerk shall complete the final disposition form for a party appearing pro se, or when the action is dismissed by court order for lack of prosecution pursuant to rule 1.420(e).
(d) Motion in Lieu of Scire Facias. Any relief available by scire facias may be granted on motion after notice without the issuance of a writ of scire facias.
1971 Amendment. The change requires a more complete designation of the document that is filed so that it may be more rapidly identified. It also specifies the applicability of the subdivision to all of the various documents that can be filed. For example, a motion to dismiss should now be entitled “defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint” rather than merely “motion” or “motion to dismiss.”
1972 Amendment. Subdivision (a) is amended to make a reply mandatory when a party seeks to avoid an affirmative defense in an answer or third-party answer. It is intended to eliminate thereby the problems exemplified by Tuggle v. Maddox, 60 So. 2d 158 (Fla. 1952), and Dickerson v. Orange State Oil Co., 123 So. 2d 562 (Fla. 2d DCA 1960).
1992 Amendment. Subdivision (b) is amended to require all notices of hearing to specify the motions or other matters to be heard.
2010 Amendment. Subdivision (c) is amended to address separately the caption for in rem proceedings, including in rem forfeiture proceedings.