Practice Area: Appeals
Date: July 26, 2016
Outcome: Petition for Writ of Prohibition GRANTED!
This Appeal arose out of a Landlord-Tenant case. Bechor sued my client, Timianski, for eviction under Florida's Landlord-Tenant law in two separate actions. However, there was an Option to Purchase contract for the purchase of the real estate involved. I moved the Court for a determination of the rent and to consolidate the two cases, and sent a letter to opposing counsel exercising the Option contract. I filed a Counterclaim for Specific Performance and moved to transfer the action to Circuit Court when the time to close the deal expired.
In the meantime, the Plaintiff moved to evict. I appeared at the hearing, but the Judicial Assistant advised me the hearing was canceled and would not go forward as the Court had a criminal case docket that day. Counsel for the Plaintiff appeared after my client and I left. She advised the Court I was not present and obtained a Judgment of Eviction behind my back. I was livid when I found out about the Judgment, and I took immediate steps to file the rehearing. The Judge granted rehearing and stopped the Writ of Possession pending a new hearing on the eviction. Judge Miller required my client to place $16,600 in the Court Registry to stop any eviction process. This amount also exceeded her jurisdiction.
Judge Teri Ann Miller wrongfully retained jurisdiction of the matter. The amount in controversy, the value of the real property, far exceeded her jurisdictional limits as a County Court Judge. In addition, she wrongfully required my client to deposit funds into the Court Registry without first holding the requisite evidentiary hearing. Lastly, she required my client to deposit funds in the Court Registry that also exceeded her jurisdiction. As a result, I filed an appeal known as a Petition for Writ of Prohibition, which was accepted by the Circuit Court, and briefed.
The Circuit Court sitting in its Appellate capacity agreed with me and granted all relief requested! The Appellate Court quashed the Order on Defendant's Motion for Rehearing and Stay of Eviction, quashed the Order Granting Motion to Strike Defendant's Counterclaim and quashed the Final Judgment of Eviction!