Sunday, May 12, 2024

Discovery, certiorari, mandamus, foreign subpoena, and buckwheat crepes with prosciutto, arugula, and asiago


Civil procedure -- Discovery -- Cellphone data -- Forensic review -- Appeals -- Certiorari -- Trial court departed from essential requirements of the law by requiring a forensic expert to make a complete copy of the entire contents of petitioner's cellphone to be reviewed by petitioner's attorney where respondent failed to establish that there was any actual or threatened alteration, deletion, or destruction of data on petitioner's cellphone, and no less intrusive means to obtain the information sought -- Petitioner has a reasonable expectation of privacy in contents of her cellphone and, as such, there needed to be an appropriate showing by respondent and a proper balancing of competing interests by trial court -- Requiring the imaging and production of the entire contents of one's cellphone cannot be justified merely because it is the quickest and most efficient method to obtain the discovery sought -- Fact that order required disclosure to petitioner's own attorney was insufficient, without more, to protect petitioner's privacy rights. ELIZABETH ROQUE, Petitioner, v. LEWIS SWEZY, et al., Respondents. 3rd District.

Civil procedure -- Discovery -- Foreign subpoena -- Enforcement -- Jurisdiction -- Louisiana subpoena commanding a non-party Florida resident to produce documents -- Trial court erred by denying plaintiff's motion to compel production of items listed in a domesticated Louisiana subpoena duces tecum and deferring to Louisiana court on issue of whether information requested in subpoena was discoverable -- Under the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, the decision of whether to enforce a domesticated subpoena or a protective order based upon a Florida witness's objections is to be made by the discovery state's court -- Remand for trial court to rehear plaintiff's motion to compel and the witness's motion for protective order, and conduct an independent determination of whether the information requested in the plaintiff's subpoena is discoverable. LUV N CARE, LTD., Appellant, v. LISA HAKIM, et al., Appellees. 4th District.

Civil procedure -- Dismissal -- Sanction -- Failure to obtain counsel -- Notice and opportunity to be heard -- Trial court violated plaintiff's due process rights when it granted defendant's motion to dismiss action for failure to obtain successor counsel within time period ordered by trial court where trial court's order contained no express language placing plaintiff on notice that its failure to obtain counsel within designated time could result in dismissal -- Furthermore, plaintiff had no reasonable notice or meaningful opportunity to be heard in response to defendant's motion to dismiss where motion was not noticed for hearing and order on the motion was entered twenty-five hours after motion was filed. BABCOCK NEW HAVEN, LLC, Appellant, v. VAHEED TEIMOURI and TEIMOURI & ASSOCIATES, INC., Appellees. 5th District.

Condominiums -- Dispute between unit owners -- Attorney's fees -- Prevailing party -- Voluntary dismissal -- Trial court abused its discretion in denying defendants' motion to tax attorney's fees as prevailing parties under section 718.303 after plaintiff voluntarily dismissed action based on determination that there was minimal litigation -- General rule that a defendant is a prevailing party when a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses an action applies even where there is limited pre-trial activity prior to dismissal -- No exceptions to general rule were applicable where defendants did not pay any of the damages sought and their actions did not render the lawsuit moot. LEENA MARGIT VILER f/k/a LEENA MARGIT SILVAST and GIORDANO G. VILER, Appellants, v. UNIVERSAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY a/s/o JAMES P. LAMANNA, Appellee. 4th District.

Contracts -- Insurance -- Settlement agreement -- Enforcement -- Trial court erred by granting defendants' motion to enforce settlement agreement where plaintiff's offer to settle expressly stated that it was contingent on defendant's insurer's verification that there were no other policies which may have provided coverage for underlying automobile accident, and an additional policy held by a codefendant was disclosed after acceptance of the settlement offer -- Request to insurer for information on any known policies was an essential term of plaintiff's offer to settle with which defendant's insurer failed to comply. PEDRO FUNDORA, etc., Appellant, v. ROBERTO DANGOND, et al., Appellees. 3rd District. 

Counties -- Contracts -- Dismissal -- Limitation of actions -- Continuing breach doctrine -- Contract requiring defendant to redevelop property pursuant to a master plan that had to be submitted and approved by the county -- Trial court erred in granting motion to dismiss with prejudice based on conclusion that, because more than five years had passed since date master plan was required to be submitted to county, the statute of limitations for bringing action on written contract had expired -- Complaint does not conclusively show that the statute of limitations bars action where complaint alleged various breaches of contract regarding defendant's failure to complete the redevelopment of real property that related not only to defendant's single act of failing to submit master plan by the designated date, but also in failing to comply with numerous other intertwined, ongoing, and continuing contractual duties and obligations that postdated the date that the master plan was due. HERNANDO COUNTY, FLORIDA, Appellant, v. HERNANDO COUNTY FAIR ASSOCIATION, INC., Appellee. 5th District.

Dissolution of marriage -- Equitable distribution -- Marital/nonmarital assets -- Trial court erred in failing to credit wife with marital funds used to pay down mortgage on husband's nonmarital property on the ground that the property actually depreciated in value during marriage -- Any increase in property's equity resulting from payments made with marital funds is a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. NADJA MARCELA BAZAN VASSALLO, Appellant, v. EDELMO ESCALONA SOCARRAS, Appellee. 3rd District.

Estates -- Assets -- Limited liability companies -- Dissolution -- Real property held by LLC wholly owned by decedent -- Trial court erred in denying motion seeking determination that real property was not an estate asset based on trial court's determination that the LLC's assets were assets of the estate because the single-member LLC immediately dissolved upon decedent's death -- Death of sole member does not immediately dissolve a single-member LLC -- Not until ninety days after decedent's death, which was well after denial of motion to determine assets, did the death become an event causing dissolution under relevant statutes -- Furthermore, LLC must be dissolved by filing articles of dissolution, after which LLC still continues for certain purposes such as winding up. PRECIOUS EZEAMAMA, Appellant, v. IN RE: THE ESTATE OF CATHERINE EZEAMAMA CHIBUGO, Appellee. 3rd District.

Liens -- Construction lien -- Discharge -- Mandamus -- Petition seeking to compel trial court to discharge a subcontractor's construction lien pursuant to section 713.21(4) is denied -- Section 713.21 only applies to a lien that is properly perfected -- Because complaint specifically alleged subcontractor had failed to perfect its lien by serving a notice to property owner and therefore had no lien rights, petitioners could not avail themselves of the special statutory procedure authorized by section 713.21(4). ABRAHAM A. CALIXTE and DOROTHY DROUILLARD a/k/a DOROTHY CALIXTE, Petitioners, v. COASTAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS, LLC, Respondent. 4th District.

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