Bernhard Law Firm has obtained a dismissal from proceedings supplementary for a Coral Gables commercial building owner in Miami Circuit Court. See U.S. Century v. The Arbol Group, et al. (Florida Bar disclaimer: results may not be typical. You may not have as beneficial a result). The commercial landowner had been hailed into court by U.S. Century Bank through proceedings supplementary to recover commercial property conveyed in various commercial investment deals years before. U.S. Century was a creditor to the previous owner of the commercial building, and sought to reclaim the Coral Gables property to cover the previous owner’s judgment debt.
However, Bernhard Law Firm issued motions and warning notices to U.S. Century and the Court that there was no connection in title between the judgment debtors and Bernhard Law Firm‘s clients (the non-party commercial landowner). Because the judgment debtors never owned the Coral Gables commercial property, there was no basis for jurisdiction over Bernhard Law Firm’s client or the commercial building. Supplementary proceedings under Florida Statutes § 56.29(2) require creditor to list “property of the judgment debtor” in hands of third parties. Bernhard Law Firm argued that U.S. Century should have known from a cursory review of the public records that the commercial landowner bought the Coral Gables property from a West Miami real estate developer in an arms-length, bona fide purchase for value without notice, with the documented imprimatur of EuroBank, TerraBank, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, and several independent Florida attorneys in good standing. Thus, no seizure of the Coral Gables commercial building was authorized under Florida Statutes § 56.29(3)(b), and the Court had to dismiss Bernhard Law Firm‘s client. Bernhard Law Firm further argued that U.S. Century already knew this because (i) it was readily determinable in the public records, and (ii) Bernhard Law Firm provided closing documents and proof of bona fide purchase to the bank’s counsel, along with a § 57.105 demand to release Bernhard Law Firm‘s client and avoid unnecessary expense and harassment. Based on Bernhard Law Firm‘s arguments, improper service on the commercial landowner was quashed, allegations were withdrawn, and the landowner was fully dismissed from the proceedings.
If you have questions about protecting commercial real estate before or after litigation begins, or are called into proceedings supplementary, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 786-871-3349.