3rd DCA Rejects Petition for Writ of Certiorari and Interlocutory Appeal Regarding Annulment Action

Posted on July 11, 2016

In Flores v. Lopez, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8796 (Fla. 3d DCA, 2016), Jose Ignacio Lopez, Sr., an incapacitated person, through his adult children and co-guardians, (collectively “Appellees”) filed a lawsuit for the annulment of his marriage to Maria Mercedes Flores (“Appellant”). In the trial court, Appellant filed a motion to dismiss the annulment action and moved for a protective order, which the trial court denied. Appellant filed a petition for certiorari for review of those orders on appeal. Also in the trial court, Appellees moved to compel execution and delivery of a quit claim deed, as required by a provision in a prenuptial agreement between Jose Lopez and Appellant, which the trial court granted. Appellant filed an interlocutory appeal of that order.

On appeal, the Third DCA noted that to prevail in a petition for a writ of certiorari, a party must demonstrate that the contested order constitutes: (1) a departure from the essential requirements of the law, (2) resulting in material injury for the remainder of the case, (3) that cannot be corrected on post-judgment appeal. Damsky v. Univ. of Miami, 152 So. 3d 789, 792 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014); see also Jaye v. Royal Saxon, Inc., 720 So. 2d 214, 215 (Fla. 1998) (“[I]t is settled law that, as a condition precedent to invoking a district court’s certiorari jurisdiction, the petitioning party must establish that it has suffered an irreparable harm that cannot be remedied on direct appeal.”). The Court found no material injury which could not be corrected on post-judgment appeal. Accordingly, the Court dismissed Appellant’s writ of certiorari as improper.

With regard to the interlocutory appeal, the Third DCA accepted Appellees’ interpretation of the trial court order as including the statements of the trial judge that the execution and delivery of the deed gave Jose Lopez no right to exclusive use or possession of the home, subject to further order of the court. Therefore, the appeal of the trial court’s order by Appellant was also dismissed because the parties’ respective claims to immediate possession remained subject to determination. See Higgins v. Ryan, 81 So. 3d 588, 589 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012).

If you or anyone you know is in need of representation in actions involving Guardianship, Probate and/or Trust Disputes, or questions pertaining to such proceedings, please contact The Law Offices of Glenn M. Mednick, P.L., at (954) 315-1154 or gmednick@mednicklawgroup.com.

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