Coral Gables, FL. A man who was gifted a condominium by a friend and later sued by relatives of the woman after she died because they found out her home was not in their inheritance has prevailed against the family’s suit on appeal. Brian Barakat and Jocelyne Macelloni of Barakat + Bossa in Coral Gables won the case before Florida’s Third District Court based on the fact that their client, a resident of Argentina, could not be forced to come to Florida to face a lower court on matters regarding the civil lawsuit under Florida’s rules of “personal jurisdiction”.
“In essence the Appeal Court supported our motion at the initial trial that there is nothing in the law to compel a person residing outside of the country to come to Miami for a lawsuit of this nature,” according to Brian Barakat, the firm’s partner, and a former Miami-Dade County Prosecutor. “The Appeals Court also addressed conspiracy issues used against our client to require him to appear and held that this was not sufficient to establish jurisdiction as well.”
“We’re pleased with the outcome for our client on this case,” notes Jocelyne Macelloni. “Our initial arguments about personal jurisdiction, as wells as the conspiracy issue have been confirmed on appeal.”
Barakat + Bossa is an international trial law firm that handles non-competes, commercial litigation, partnership disputes, and corporate fraud for clients in Florida and in many foreign jurisdictions in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Barakat + Bossa is located at 2701 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables. FL 33134. Please contact via 305-444-3114 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: B2B.legal
Here are the legal aspects and excerpts of the decision on the case as outlined by Jocelyne
Macelloni for reference:
The Florida Third District Court Appeal has dismissed the Amended Complaint against him (the client) for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Amended Complaint attempted to assert personal jurisdiction over our client, a citizen and resident of Argentina, on two grounds: (1) a civil conspiracy theory; and (2) an “alter-ego” theory.
With respect to the civil conspiracy theory, the Third District Court of Appeal ultimately held that the Amended Complaint set forth only vague and conclusory allegations with respect to a civil conspiracy between [our client] and [residents of Florida]; these allegations are not sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction over [our client] under . . . Florida’s long-arm statute.”
The Third District further found that the Amended Complaint’s “alter-ego” theory fared no better in that “[t]he pleading further allege[d] only conclusory allegations that are both insufficient to pierce the corporate veil . . . and to establish personal jurisdiction . . . .”
Ultimately, the Third District reversed the non-final order finding that our client was subject to personal jurisdiction in the State of Florida, and remanded the case with instructions that the trial court dismiss the Amended Complaint with leave to amend.