Third DCA Watch
By Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. October 26, 2012
This week, Michael S. Perse comments on the Third District Court of Appeals decision in Blue Star Palms, LLC v. LED Trust, LLC.
The 3rd DCA granted Blue Star Palms and Blue Star Briar, LLC’s writ of certiorari, quashing Judge Langer’s order denying a motion to dissolve a writ of lis pendens. In granting the writ of certiorari, the Court reminds litigants (and circuit court judges!) that when a case is really just a dispute over monetary damages (in this instance related to a promised membership interest), unless the plaintiff can show a direct connection to specific real property, the plaintiff is not entitled to maintain a lis pendens on that property during the pendency of the suit.
While plaintiffs often file a lis pendens in order to pressure defendants by tying up the property for the pendency of the litigation, the Court’s opinion affirms that it is improper to seek a lis pendens absent a recordable instrument or a claim that directly relates to the real property. In fact, filing a lis pendens without the requisite nexus to the real property could expose a plaintiff to a counterclaim for slander of title.