March 20, 2017
Bresky Law recently assisted a plaintiff homeowner in successfully obtaining dismissal of an appeal of trial court orders that gave him the power to complete the sale of the property despite the Defendant’s attempts to frustrate his efforts.
The parties, who were not married, had previously purchased a home together. They later had a dispute regarding the property. Our client moved out of the home and the Defendant was subsequently unable to refinance the property. Our client obtained a judgment for partition in which the trial court ordered that the property be sold.
Our client was then forced to engage in substantial further litigation to effectuate the sale of the property due to the Defendant’s failure to cooperate. After a year of the Defendant’s dilatory and obstructionist conduct as to the sale of the property, our client obtained several court orders sanctioning the Defendant and giving our client the necessary authorization to complete the sale of the property. One order authorized our client to sign the closing documents on behalf of the Defendant in the event that the Defendant refused to sign.
The Defendant appealed the orders to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which ordered the Defendant to submit a jurisdictional brief explaining the appellate court’s jurisdiction. The Appellant argued in her brief that the trial court’s orders were appealable non-final orders pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130. We filed a response to the Appellant’s jurisdictional brief along with a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. We argued that the orders could not be appealed as non-final orders under Rule 9.130 and that the Fourth DCA should dismiss the appeal.
The Fourth DCA agreed with our argument and dismissed the Defendant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Fourth DCA also granted our motion for attorney’s fees and awarded our client entitlement to appellate attorney’s fees conditioned upon a further determination by the trial court as to entitlement and amount. This favorable result for our client should allow him to proceed in the trial court to recover the money he was forced to expend due to the Defendant’s conduct.