Amending a Complaint to Add Additional Party Defendants

In Eldridge v. Multi-Resources, Inc., 695 So. 2d 1320 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) the plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their complaint to add additional party defendants. Eldridge, 695 So. 2d at 1321. In so doing, they did not attach a copy of the proposed second amended complaint, nor did they even identify the prospective defendants. Over three months later, the trial court granted the motion and stated in the order that the amended complaint was "deemed filed on the date of the signing of this order." Id. On that same date, the plaintiffs filed the second amended complaint, which added several new defendants. Thereafter, the plaintiffs timely served all but two of the newly added defendants, that is, within 120 days of the filing of the amended complaint. Id. at 1321-22. The trial court subsequently granted the newly added defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to perfect service within 120 days of filing the motion seeking leave to amend, concluding that under Frew the 120-day time period began on the date of the filing of the motion to amend. Id. at 1321.