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Real Property & Business Litigation Case Update, June 2024

By Manuel Farach

Week ending June 29, 2024

Murthy v. Missouri, Case No. 23–411 (2024).
States and individuals lack standing to claim the federal government violated the First
Amendment by pressuring social media platforms to censor speech.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, Case No. 22–859 (2024).
A Securities and Exchange Commission action seeking civil penalties against a
defendant for securities fraud involves traditional common law claims (fraud) and legal
remedies (civil penalties) to which the right to a jury trial attaches under the Seventh

Harrington v. Purdue Pharma L. P., Case No. 23–124 (2024).
The Bankruptcy Code does not – without the consent of affected claimants – authorize
the release of non-debtor third parties under a Chapter 11 plan, which releases
effectively discharge claims against the non-debtor third parties.

Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, Case No. 22–451 (2024).
The Chevron Deference Doctrine is overruled as the Administrative Procedure Act
requires courts to exercise independent judgment in deciding whether an agency acted
within its statutory authority when the agency interpreted an ambiguous law.

Pinellas County v. Joiner, Case No. SC2019-1819 (Fla. 2024).
Sovereign immunity does not shield a county from paying ad valorem taxes for property
it owns outside its territorial boundaries.

E Coast Investments, LLC v. Delia, Case No. 3D23-1209 (Fla. 3d DCA 2024).
There is no possibility of inconsistent verdicts when a tax deed holder seeks a writ of
possession under Florida Statute section 197.562 and simultaneously seeks a separate
action for ejectment.

Soho Ocean Resort TRS, LLC v. PG Security, Inc., Case No. 4D2023-1680 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2024).
An agent seeking to avoid personal liability must sufficiently disclose his or her principal.

Week ending June 22, 2024

Moore v. United States, Case No. 22–800 (2024).
The Mandatory Repatriation Tax (realized and undistributed income of an American-
controlled foreign corporation is attributed to the entity’s American shareholders for tax
purposes) does not violate the Sixteenth Amendment despite taxing undistributed

Katha, LLC v. SHEDDF3-AE, LLC, Case No. 3D22-1691 (Fla. 3d DCA 2024).
A lender that assigns all loan documents (including a forbearance agreement and its
conditional deed-in-lieu) to a third party loses the ability to declare a default under the
loan documents.

951 Harbor Drive, LLC v. SD Construction, LLC, Case No. 3D22-1992 (Fla. 3d DCA
Affirmative defenses must state sufficient facts to provide the opposing party notice of
the arguments against the claim and an affirmative defense of “settlement and release”
does not sufficiently apprise the opposing party of a splitting causes of action defense.

Fuentes v. Link, Case No. 3D22-2053 (Fla. 3d DCA 2024).
Absent evidence that it was revoked or that transfer of real property was not the
grantor’s intent, a revocable living trust may function as a deed to homestead property.

Qasem v. Account Services Collections, Inc., Case No. 3D23-0111 (Fla. 3d DCA
Absent dispute by the debtor, a creditor need not validate a debt before filing suit on the

Carbonell v. Glade, Case No. 3D23-0708 (Fla. 3d DCA 2024).
A trial court may not transfer real property claimed to be homestead without a factual
finding the property is not homestead, even if the transfer occurred during proceedings
supplementary and the homestead defense was raised in a dilatory manner.

Publix Super Markets, Inc. v. Safonte, Case Nos. 4D2023-0216 and 4D2023-0815
(Fla. 4th DCA 2024).
A business cannot be held liable for the negligence of its invitees to third parties absent
knowledge of the invitee’s negligence.

Week ending June 15, 2024

Vidal v. Elster, Case No. 22–704 (2024).
The Lanham Act’s names clause does not violate the First Amendment.

United States Trustee v. John Q. Hammons Fall 2006, LLC, Case No. 22–1238
Prospective parity is the appropriate remedy for the short-lived issues created by the
trustee fee statute held unconstitutional in Siegel v. Fitzgerald, 596 U. S. 464 (lack of
uniformity in trustee fees violates the Constitution).

Daugherty v. McDavid, Case No. 1D2022-2559 (Fla. 1st DCA 2024).
Florida Statute section 95.12 (“No action to recover real property or its possession shall
be maintained unless the person seeking recovery . . . was seized or possessed of the
property within 7 years before the commencement of the action.”) does not apply to

Destin Fishing Fleet, Inc. v. City of Destin, Case No. 1D2023-0477 (Fla. 1st DCA
Florida Statute section 70.001(6)(c)2, the attorney’s fees provision of the Bert J. Harris,
Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act, requires the trial court to make a finding that
the local government made a bona fide offer that would have resolved the dispute fairly
to the landowner before awarding fees to the local government.

The Ferraro Law Firm, P.A. v. Royal Merchant Holdings, LLC, Case No. 3D22-1851
(Fla. 3rd DCA 2024).
An arbitrator permitting, without notice, an affirmative defense to “morph” into an
affirmative claim violates fundamental fairness principles and results in the vacatur of
the arbitration award.

Vazquez v. City of Hallandale Beach, Case No. 4D2023-0833 (Fla. 4th DCA 2024).
Restrictive covenants are not property interests that must be compensated when taken
by eminent domain.

Week ending June 8, 2024

Connelly v. United States, Case No. 23–146 (2024).
A corporation’s contractual obligation to redeem shares, e.g., a company buying an
owner’s shares through insurance upon he owner’s death, is not necessarily a liability
that reduces a corporation’s value for purposes of the federal estate tax.
Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, Case No. 22–1079 (2024).
An insurer with financial responsibility for bankruptcy claims is a “party in interest” under
§1109(b) that “may raise and may appear and be heard on any issue” in a Chapter 11

In Re: Amendments To The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Case No. SC2022-
1719 (Fla. 2024).
Rule of Civil Procedure 1.110(d) is amended so that short, plain statements of facts are
required for affirmative defenses, Rule 1.820(h) is retitled and amended to reflect that
arbitration decisions will be deemed rejected only if a “notice of rejection of the
arbitration decision and request for trial” is filed with the court within 20 days of service
of the arbitrator’s written decision, and the landlord-tenant forms are revised.

O’Donnell v. Lee, Case No. 1D2022-0193 (Fla. 1st DCA 2024).
According to a party’s discovery responses, selection of an escrow agent is a material
part of an as-is real estate sale contract and the failure to select same in a form contract
is a material breach of the contract.

Close Construction, LLC v. City of Riviera Beach Utility District, Case No. 4D2023-
0051 (Fla. 4th DCA 2024).
Florida Statute section 46.015 (Release of Parties) permits setoff of settlement
damages when the settling and non-settling parties are jointly and severally liable and
the settled damages are the same damages for which the setoff is sought.

Beaches MRI v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, Case No. 4D2023-0800 (Fla.
4th DCA 2024).
A summary judgment granted over Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510’s forty-day
filing requirement is reversed without prejudice to refile in compliance with the Rule.

McLlenan v. Cypress Chase North Condominium No. 4 Association, Inc., Case No.
4D2023-1269 (Fla. 4th DCA 2024).
A condominium association has a duty to repair common elements that damage a unit
owner’s property, including a water leak from an upstairs apartment that damages a
downstairs unit.

Pecchia v. Wayside Estates Home Owners Association, Inc., Case No. 5D2023-
0963 (Fla. 5th DCA 2024).
Florida Statute section 720.303 requires strict – not substantial – compliance with
requests for records inspections by members.

Riti Financial, LLC v. Patel, Case No. 5D2023-1109 (Fla. 5 th DCA 2024).
Summary judgment for a defendant is proper, i.e., no jury could find for Plaintiff, when
the evidence demonstrated that Plaintiff’s oral loan to purchase a hotel was made to
defendant’s husband (not defendant), defendant made no promise to Plaintiff to repay
the loan, and the hotel passed to defendant in the husband’s probate proceedings
without a claim to the loan or the hotel in the husband’s estate.

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