Real Estate & Business Litigation Record

Case Law Update for March 21, 2014

Manuel Farach | March 21, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 12

March 21, 2015

Manuel Farach


Estate of Williams v. Jursinski, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1259497 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

Notwithstanding the dictates of Florida State section 682.03 (6) (“If a party makes a motion to the court to order arbitration, the court on just terms shall stay any judicial proceeding that involves a claim alleged to be subject to the arbitration until the court renders a final decision under this section.”) and even if all the defendants in the lawsuit are related, a claimant may avoid arbitration by dropping parties from the lawsuit not subject to the arbitration clause.


AG Beaumont 1, LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1259649 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

Privileged documents exchanged between counsel for joint defendants pursuant to a joint defense agreement are protected by the attorney-client privilege.


Boyette v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1211771 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

In order to be affirmed on appeal, a final judgment of foreclosure requires competent, substantial evidence of both the main damages (the amounts outstanding on the note and mortgage) and the collateral damages and costs (prejudgment interest, costs of property inspections, attorneys’ fees calculations, etc.).


Fernandez v. Office of Financial Regulation, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1222679 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Appellate jurisdiction may not be conferred by stipulation of trial counsel, even if all trial counsel agree they did not timely receive the order on appeal.


Bianchi & Cecchi Services, Inc. v. Navalimpianti USA, Inc., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1223663 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A trial court must balance the privacy interests of third parties against the need of litigants for information from the third parties; the trial court has discretion in how to conduct its inquiry and is not necessarily required to hold an evidentiary hearing or conduct an in camera review of the documents in order to do so.


Bank of America, N.A. v. Pate, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1135923 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

Concurring opinion details facts constituting unclean hands defense to foreclosure.


In re Intern. Management Associates, LLC, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 1245503 (11th Cir. 2015).

Except for privilege issues, a trial court is not bound by the rules of evidence in making the preliminary determination of whether evidence is admissible. A person testifying as to business records must demonstrate the trustworthiness of the records, but need not have personal knowledge of how the records were created or kept in order to testify.

Case Law Update for March 7, 2015

Manuel Farach | in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 11

March 14, 2015

Manuel Farach


Bank of New York Mellon v. Mestre, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1071113 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

A note and mortgage that is fraudulently executed is not an enforceable contract, and thus does not provide prevailing defendants with a basis for contractual attorneys’ fees.


Fiore v. Hilliker, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1088449 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

Summary judgment is not appropriate if there are two reasonable interpretations of a contract because there remains an issue of fact regarding the parties’ intent.


Sybac Solar AG, Co. v. Falz, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1088480 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

While a written order deciding a forum non conveniens motion need not detail the trial court’s four-step analysis under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.061(a), the record must demonstrate the court considered and ruled on the factors.


In re Amendments to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.210, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1058130 (Fla. 2015).

The rule is amended to permit longer appellate briefs in death penalty cases.


Harold v. Sanders, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1034621 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

If an arbitrator serves a Florida Statute section 44.103 arbitration decision by mail, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.090(e) adds five days to the date by which a party objecting to the non-binding arbitration under must demand a trial de novo.


Tilus v. AS Michai LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1040522 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

An undated blank indorsement on a promissory note filed after suit is filed does not demonstrate standing at time of filing suit. Likewise, an assignment of mortgage does not confer standing.


JBK Associates, Inc. v. Sill Bros., Inc., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1040603 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

The investment of homestead sale proceeds in securities was not so inconsistent with the purposes of the homestead exemption that the funds lost their status as protected claims of creditors.


Bymel v. Bank of America, N.A., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1044247 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A short-sale purchaser has a sufficient interest in the real property that he is entitled to intervene in the foreclosure proceedings regarding the property.




Russell Post Properties, Inc. v. Leaders Bank, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1044276 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

While the better practice is to attach a copy of the general release to a Proposal for Settlement, a sufficient description can substitute for the release itself.


Russell v. Southeast Housing, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1044315 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

Real property that is being jointly developed by the federal government and a private developer is exempt from ad valorem taxation if the federal government retains both equitable and beneficial ownership of the land.


Rollet v. de Bizemont, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1044369 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

An allegation that a defendant is “sui juris” is insufficient to confer long-arm jurisdiction.


CK Regalia, LLC v. Thornton, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 1044400 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

Former clients may not file a declaratory judgment action attacking charging liens before the original action (to which the charging liens apply) is determined to be successful, i.e., before there is a fund to which the charging liens can attach.


Lary v. Trinity Physician Financial & Ins. Services, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 1089326 (11th Cir. 2015).

A single facsimile can constitute two violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, but treble damages for “willful and knowing” requires proof that sender knew they were sending a facsimile and that it was wrong to do so under the circumstances.


In re Seaside Engineering & Surveying, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 1061718 (11th Cir. 2015).

Although they should not be issued lightly, bankruptcy courts have authority to approve non-consensual non-debtor releases or bar orders in bankruptcy restructuring plan

Case Law Update for February 28, 2015

Manuel Farach | March 3, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 9

February 28, 2015

Manuel Farach


City of Jacksonville v. Smith, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 798154 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

Construction or development on an adjacent parcel does not “inordinately burden” a parcel of real property so as to provide compensation under the Bert Harris Act, Florida Statute § 70.001.


HSBC Bank USA, Nat. Ass’n v. Karzen, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 798946 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

If the affected party has notice of the claim during the limitations period, an amended complaint relates back to the filing date of the original claim even if the amended claim is filed beyond the statute of limitations period.


Hart v. Wachovia Bank, Nat. Associates, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 798961 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

The waiver provisions of a guaranty may suffice as the “agreed otherwise in writing” requirement of Florida Statute section 222.11 for written consent to a continuing writ of garnishment.


Edge Pilates Corp. v. Tribeca Aesthetic Medical Solutions, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 774635 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A landlord proves a prima facie case for eviction when it proves the rental agreement, failure to make required rental payments, and the service of a three day notice.


Club Mediterranee, S.A. v. Fitzpatrick, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 799256 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A court will look to the factual allegations of a complaint, not the causes of action asserted, in determining whether a law suit falls within an arbitration provision.


Two Islands Development Corp. v. Clarke, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 799270 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A court cannot issue an injunction which interferes with the rights of those who are not parties to the litigation.


Lorant v. Whitney Nat. Bank, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 754244 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

A party may not “supplement” its final judgment (including substantive provisions that allow deficiency judgments to be domesticated in foreign jurisdictions) under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540 (a) as the rule only corrects clerical mistakes.


In re Rosenberg, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 845578 (11th Cir. 2015).

A debtor may be awarded trial court and appellate attorneys’ fees for a bad faith filing of an involuntary petition which is later dismissed.

Case Law Update for February 21, 2015

Manuel Farach | February 21, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 8

February 21, 2015

Manuel Farach


McCullough v. Kubiak, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 672353 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A defamatory statement made during the course of a judicial proceeding, i.e., a deposition, is absolutely privileged. DelMonico v. Traynor, 116 So.3d 1205 (Fla.2013), is distinguished as it involved defamation outside of a court proceeding, i.e., defamation during the out of court questioning of a non-party witness.



Case Law Update for February 14, 2015

Manuel Farach | February 14, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 7

February 14, 2015

Manuel Farach


Faddis v. City of Homestead, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 543128 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

An appellate court may sua sponte award fees as a sanction under Florida Statute § 57.105, and may require the fees sanction to be paid by counsel alone.


Salazar v. HSBC Bank, USA, NA, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 543411 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

Objections to a foreclosure sale can only be directed to the sale (not the underlying litigation or the judgment itself), and must demonstrate fraud, mistake or other irregularity in the conduct of the sale.


Foche Mortg., LLC v. CitiMortgage, Inc., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 548405 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A trial court is without jurisdiction to rule on an untimely motion seeking relief under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530.


Meadowbrook Meat Co. v. Catinella, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 574042 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

Orders granting motions for new trial are subject to a heightened abuse of discretion standard, i.e., a stronger showing of abuse of discretion is required to overturn an order granting a new trial than is required to sustain an order denying a motion for new trial.


Skelton v. Lyons, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 574248 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

A purchaser at foreclosure sale has a protectable legal interest, and the foreclosure sale may not be aside without due process to the foreclosure sale purchaser, i.e., notice and a legal basis for vacating the sale.


Wiand v. Schneiderman, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 525694 (11th Cir. 2015).

Clawback actions brought by court-appointed receivers are not exempt from having to arbitrate those claims subject to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.



Case Law Update for February 7, 2015

Manuel Farach | in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 6

February 7, 2015

Manuel Farach


Colon v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 477629 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

A verified complaint may support a motion for summary judgment, but only if it is made on personal knowledge and otherwise in compliance with the rules of evidence.


Bendo v. Silver Woods Community Ass’n, Inc., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 477631 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

Covenants that run with the land are construed in favor of the free and unrestricted use of land, and ambiguous covenants are construed in favor of the landowner.


Life Care Ponte Vedra, Inc. v. H.K. Wu, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 477815 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

Construction of a contract against its drafter is a secondary rule of interpretation to be used only when intent cannot be ascertained by other means. Moreover, an ambiguous contract may be interpreted as a matter of law when the ambiguity can be resolved through undisputed parol evidence of the parties.


AmMed Surgical Equipment, LLC v. Professional Medical Billing Specialists, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 489744 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

Bankruptcy Code section 11 U.S.C. §§ 362(a) and 108(c) prevail over Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130(b) such that the automatic stay prevents a debtor from filing a notice of appeal within thirty days of rendition but allows the debtor to file the notice of appeal within thirty days of the order lifting the bankruptcy stay.


Waterview Towers Yacht Club-Ultimate, Owners’ Ass’n, Inc. v. Givianpour, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 468996 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015).

There is no “right of redemption,” only an “equity of redemption,” after foreclosure. The equity of redemption will be extinguished upon the filing of the certificate of sale if the final judgment so provides.


Juno Ocean Walk Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. North County Co., Inc., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 444341 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Allowing a party to opt out of a class action final judgment is a “modification” and not “enforcement” of the judgment, so a trial court’s “enforcement” of the final judgment is not proper if untimely under time requirements of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540.


Ryan v. City of Boynton Beach, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 444440 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

While reduction of appellate fees may be proper, a landowner in condemnation proceedings cannot be denied his appellate attorney’s fees simply because he was not the prevailing party in the appeal.

Case Law Update for January 31, 2015

Manuel Farach | January 31, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 5

January 31, 2015

Manuel Farach


In re Professionalism Complaints, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 357969 (Fla. 2015).

Members of local professionalism panels are entitled to absolute immunity from civil suits for work associated with the panels.


In Re: Standard Jury Instructions In Civil Cases — Report No. 2014-02, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 357994 (Fla. 2015).

Standard Civil Jury Instructions 201.2 (Introduction of Participants and Their Roles) and 202.4 (Juror Questions) are slightly revised.


Holt v. Calchas, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2014 WL 5614374 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014).

A witness not from the company that prepared the business records must be sufficiently familiar with the procedures at the company where the business records were prepared that she can meet the foundation requirements of the Business Records Exception to the Hearsay Rule; it is not necessary to call the person who prepared the document to testify to admit the document under the Rule so long as proper foundation is laid.


Wachovia Mortg., FSB v. Montes, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 340764 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A court may not involuntarily dismiss a case before the plaintiff concludes presenting their case.


Epstein v. Bank of America, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 340781 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A mortgage with an incorrect legal description may be corrected before foreclosure, but only in a new, separate proceeding after foreclosure.

Case Law Update for January 24, 2015

Manuel Farach | in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 4

January 24, 2015

Manuel Farach


In re Florida Rule of Judicial Admin. 2.420, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 263902 (Fla. 2015).

Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420 is amended to include new categories of information (behavioral health evaluations and drug court program referral records) to the list of categories considered confidential.


Appel v. Bard, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 248642 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A party cannot be forced, over invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, to answer questions whether he has filed tax returns for prior years.


Murray v. HSBC Bank USA, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 248651 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A non-holder in possession under Florida Statute § 673.3011 seeking to enforce a promissory note that has been transferred multiple times must prove the “chain of transfers” of the note.


CCM Pathfinder Palm Harbor Management, LLC v. Unknown Heirs of Gendron, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 248796 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

A waiver of statute of limitations defense contained in a mortgage is enforceable. The statute of repose for obligations secured by mortgages is 20 years unless the maturity date is ascertainable from the face of the instrument.


Gonzalez v. Barrenechea, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 249254 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A homeowner is entitled to the reasonable rental value of his home when renovations make the home un-livable.


Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of South Florida v. Bermudez, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 249274 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

Court registry fees are a taxable cost under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.400(a) (4).


Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, — S.Ct. —-, 2015 WL 248559 (2015).

A jury determines whether “tacking” (assumption of a priority position of an earlier mark by a new mark) is permissible.


Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., — S.Ct. —-, 2015 WL 232131 (2015).

The Federal Circuit must apply a clear error standard when resolving subsidiary factual matters during patent construction.



Case Law Update for January 17, 2015

Manuel Farach | January 19, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 1

January 17, 2015

Manuel Farach


Hubsch v. Howell Creek Reserve Community, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 196171 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

Party is denied due process when they file a timely and proper motion to appear telephonically at a dispositive hearing and the motion is denied.


The Florida Bar v. Marrero, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 175189 (Fla. 2015).

Attorney violated rule of professional conduct prohibiting attorneys from conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation by failing to inform lender that funds she provided were not being used as she instructed as first mortgage, failing to inform second lender of prior loan, and failing to list prior loan on title commitment.


Jomar Properties, L.L.C. v. Bayview Const. Corp., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 159055 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Asking questions to understand the issues does not demonstrate the “evident partiality” required to vacate an arbitration award. “Results obtained” under Florida Patient’s Compensation Fund v. Rowe, 472 So.2d 1145 (Fla.1985), means both examining what issues were won or lost and how much was won (or not won).


Snow v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 160326 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

The following is a notice of default, not an automatic or self-executing acceleration that starts the running of the statute of limitations, because it does not state the debt has been accelerated, does not state the full amount due, and merely states that the debt will be accelerated in the future:

This letter serves as further notice that EMC Mortgage Corporation intends to enforce the provisions of the Note and Security Instrument. You must pay the full amount of the default on this loan by the thirty-fifth (35th) day from the date of this letter which is 01/10/2008 (or if said date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then on the first business day thereafter). If you do not pay the full amount of the default, we shall accelerate the entire sum of both principal and interest due and payable, and invoke any remedies provided for in the Note and Security Instrument, including but not limited to the foreclosure sale of the property ….


Casino Inv., Inc. v. Palm Springs Mile Associates, Ltd., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 160703 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

A trial court is without jurisdiction on remand to change the law of the case as directed by the appellate court in the prior appeal.





T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, Ga., — S.Ct. —-, 2015 WL 159278 (2015).

A locality must provide reasons in writing for denying a cellular tower siting permit, and the determination must be supported by substantial, competent evidence so as to comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii), 47 U.S.C.A. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii).


Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., — S.Ct. —-, 2015 WL 144681 (2015).

The Truth In Lending Act only requires that written notice of intent to seek rescission be given within three-year period; the filing of suit within that time is not required.


National Maritime Services, Inc. v. Straub, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 151703 (11th Cir. 2015).

A district court has ancillary jurisdiction over a judgment creditor’s supplementary proceedings that is filed to avoid a fraudulent conveyance.



Case Law Update for January 10, 2015

Manuel Farach | January 10, 2015 in Real Estate & Business Litigation Record | Comments (0)

Real Property and Business Litigation Report

Volume VIII, Issue 1

January 10, 2015

Manuel Farach


Federated Nat. Ins. Co. v. Restoration 1 of South Florida, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71653 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

An action for declaratory judgment must be within the monetary jurisdiction of the court in which it is filed, i.e., over $15,000 in controversy if filed in circuit court.


Kelly v. BankUnited, FSB, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71694 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Mortgagor is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees as the prevailing party in a foreclosure action if suit is voluntarily dismissed as part of a voluntary short sale.


AMS Staff Leasing, Inc. v. Taylor, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71705 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Threatened loss of continued employment and improper influence by a third party do not constitute “duress” such to invalidate an employment agreement.


Nucci v. Target Corp., — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71726 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

The function of social networking sites is to share personal information, thus information posted on social networking sites are neither privileged nor protected by any right of privacy.


Southern Comfort Grill, Inc. v. Hanks Const., LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71753 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

In order to permit intervention, a trial court must first determine whether a party’s interest is indispensable and then examine whether the party’s interest is of a direct and immediate character.


Bank of New York v. Calloway, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71816 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

A witness may testify to the business records acquired from another business so long as the acquired records are now business records of the acquiring business and the trial court is satisfied of the trustworthiness of the acquired records through addditional evidence, clarifying the holding of WAMCO XXVIII, Ltd. v. Integrated Electronic Environments, Inc., 903 So.2d 230 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005).


Richardson v. Everbank, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 71850 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

Lender does not violate § 15 U.S.C. § 1691(a)(1) (2012) of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 (lenders may not discriminate on the basis of gender or marital status of a credit applicant) by requiring spouse to sign loan instruments when a substantial amount of the assets pledged as security are owned by both spouses.


Infrax Systems, Inc. v. Wood, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 72260 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

A party may not claim damages under Florida Statute § 68.065 (treble damages for dishonored checks) when it merely inquires at the account holder’s bank whether the account has sufficient funds but never presents the check.

Paramo v. Floyd, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 72444 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015).

A default only admits liquidated damages, and damages are not liquidated if taking of evidence is necessary in order to establish the actual amount of damages.


Allied Shelving & Equipment, Inc. v. National Deli, LLC, — So.3d —-, 2015 WL 72487 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015).

“Hybrid” contracts sales contracts have a sale of goods component (covered by the Uniform Commercial Code) and a provision of services component (not covered by the Uniform Commercial Code).


Collins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 55345 (11th Cir. 2015).

A consumer’s credit report need not be published to a third party for actual damages to accrue under 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a).