Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Owner of Real Property In Florida Subject To Florida's Long Arm Statute

In Holt v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (4D09-3015), the Fourth District reversed the trial court's order as it related  to personal jurisdiction. 
In 1993, the legislature amended [48.193(1)(c), Florida Statutes], adding the words “holding a mortgage or other lien on,” such that the statute now provides “[o]wning, using, possessing, or holding a mortgage or other lien on any real property within this state” gives rise to personal jurisdiction.  Despite the appellant’s argument to the contrary, we do not believe that the amendment eliminated the ownership of real property as a basis for the establishment of personal jurisdiction and the exercise of long-arm jurisdiction. In context, the amended statute is more reasonably read as extending personal long-arm jurisdiction to those “holding a mortgage or other lien on” real property in Florida, rather than eliminating the longstanding jurisdictional basis for those “owning...real property within this state.” The complaint in this case alleged Holt’s ownership of Florida real property and thus the trial court erred in ruling it lacked the personal jurisdiction necessary to support the entry of a deficiency judgment.


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