Rosenthal Law Group recently prevailed in appeal before the Fourth District
Court of Appeal of a Summary Judgment in its favor and against a demolition
contractor on its lien foreclosure case claiming unpaid charges on a demolition project.
Rosenthal Law Group represented a commercial property owner who entered
into two contracts: the first contract was a demolition contract to perform
demolition services on a building and the second was a contract for removal
of exterior signage on the same parcel of land.
A dispute arose between the parties and the contractor filed a single Claim
of Lien pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 713 for the total charges
due and owing under both of the contracts. The property owner transferred
the lien to a bond pursuant to Florida law. Thereafter, the contractor
filed suit to foreclose on the lien bond and for damages. The owner filed
Rosenthal Law Group filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of its
client to invalidate the Claim of Lien because it improperly combined
charges claimed to be due under two separate direct contracts between
the contractor and the property owner. Judge Mily Rodriguez Powell granted
the Motion for Summary Judgment and discharging the Claim of Lien.
The contractor appealed the summary judgment. On appeal, the contractor
argued that Florida law did not prohibit the combing of charges due under
two contracts into a single claim of lien. Rosenthal Law Group argued
that Florida Statute §713.09 and clear Florida precedent prohibits
the filing of a single claim of lien which combines charges due under
two direct contracts.
Oral argument was held on June 11, 2019 and was argued by Alex Rosenthal.
The following day, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion
affirming the summary judgment.
This case confirms that Florida law prohibits the filing of a single claim
of lien for charges under two direct contracts and provides clear direction
to contractors and owners that strict compliance with Florida’s
lien laws is not only critical, but that the failure to do so can result
in the loss of all lien rights.