Eagle FL VI Spe, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd., No. 2D14–870.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtKHOUZAM, Judge.
Citation177 So.3d 1277
Parties EAGLE FL VI SPE, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability company, as successor by assignment to Branch Banking and Trust Company, a North Carolina banking corporation, as successor-in-interest to Colonial Bank by asset acquisition from the FDIC as Receiver for Colonial Bank, Appellant, v. T & A FAMILY PARTNERSHIP, LTD., a Florida limited partnership; CRF–Maitland, LLC, a Florida limited liability company; Lawrence T. Maxwell, individually; William D. Drost, individually; and Deer Creek Commercial North Owners' Association, Inc., a Florida corporation, Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 2D14–870.
Decision Date30 October 2015

177 So.3d 1277

EAGLE FL VI SPE, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability company, as successor by assignment to Branch Banking and Trust Company, a North Carolina banking corporation, as successor-in-interest to Colonial Bank by asset acquisition from the FDIC as Receiver for Colonial Bank, Appellant,
v.
T & A FAMILY PARTNERSHIP, LTD., a Florida limited partnership; CRF–Maitland, LLC, a Florida limited liability company; Lawrence T. Maxwell, individually; William D. Drost, individually; and Deer Creek Commercial North Owners' Association, Inc., a Florida corporation, Appellees.

No. 2D14–870.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.

Oct. 30, 2015.


177 So.3d 1279

Christopher D. Donovan of Roetzel & Andress, LPA, Naples, and W. Glenn Jensen, and Mychal J. Katz of Roetzel & Andress, LPA, Orlando, for Appellant.

Alan L. Perez and Thomas C. Saunders of Saunders Law Group, Bartow, for Appellee T & A Family Partnership, Ltd., a Florida limited partnership.

No appearance for remaining Appellees.

KHOUZAM, Judge.

This appeal arises from three commercial foreclosure and deficiency actions, consolidated below because the loans had the same guarantors—T & A Family Partnership, William D. Drost, and Lawrence T. Maxwell. The Partnership and Drost stipulated to foreclosure judgments with Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB & T) and later stipulated to deficiency judgments with Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC, as assignee of BB & T's foreclosure judgments.

Maxwell, on the other hand, challenged Eagle's motions for deficiency judgments, arguing that Eagle lacked standing to enforce his guaranties. The trial court agreed and denied Eagle's motions for deficiency judgment in all three cases. This court per curiam affirmed. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. Maxwell, 104 So.3d 1095 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) (table decision); Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. Maxwell, 105 So.3d 530 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) (table decision) (the Maxwell appeals).

After Maxwell successfully challenged Eagle's standing, the Partnership and Drost sought to set aside their stipulations for deficiency judgments, arguing that they were laboring under a mistake of fact at the time they entered into the stipulations because they believed that Eagle had standing to pursue deficiency judgments against them. The Partnership and Drost sought discovery, but Eagle and BB & T successfully challenged it and no discovery was conducted. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. Cypress Creek Plaza, LLC, 128 So.3d 950 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) (granting Eagle and BB & T's petition for writ of certiorari and quashing the circuit court's order that had denied Eagle and BB & T's motion for protective order and compelled discovery). The circuit court set aside the stipulations for entry of deficiency judgments and entered final judgments for the Partnership and Drost. This appeal challenges the set-aside order and final judgment as to the Partnership only. Because the Partnership has not shown good cause to set aside the stipulations, we reverse both the set-aside order and the final judgment. On remand, the trial court shall enforce the settlement agreement as well as the stipulations and enter deficiency judgments in favor of Eagle in all three of the cases consolidated below.

I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Generally, we review the trial court's decision on a motion to set aside a settlement agreement for an abuse of discretion. See Prestige Valet, Inc. v. Mendel, 14 So.3d 282, 283 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). But where the trial court's decision is purely one of law, we review it de novo. See Casteel v. Maddalena, 109 So.3d 1252, 1255 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013). Moreover, in cases like this one "[w]here a trial court rules on the basis of a written record and not on testimony requiring credibility determinations, the appellate court has before it everything the trial court reviewed, and we have the same opportunity to weigh it as the trial court did." Town of Jupiter v. Alexander, 747 So.2d 395, 399 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998).

II. MISTAKE OF FACT

Eagle argues that the trial court erred in vacating the stipulations because

177 So.3d 1280

the Partnership failed to show a mistake of fact. We agree. Settlement agreements are contracts. See Point Mgmt., Inc. v. Dep't of Bus. Regulation, Div. of Fla. Land Sales & Condos., 449 So.2d 306, 307 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984). Therefore, "[s]ettlements are construed in accordance with the rules for interpretation of contracts." Feldman v. Kritch, 824 So.2d 274, 277 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). "When the parties entered into the settlement agreement, their rights and duties merged into that agreement and its provisions became binding on the parties and the trial court." M & C Assocs. v. State, Dep't of Transp., 682 So.2d 640, 640 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).

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3 practice notes
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Statsick, Case No. 2D15–5388
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 14, 2017
    ...the argument that there had been a mistake remediable under rule 1.540(b)(1). See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd., 177 So.3d 1277, 1280 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015) ("Nor does [rule 1.540(b)(1) ] allow a party to avoid the consequences of a decision to settle litigation even if the ......
  • Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. Pin-Pon Corp., Nos. 4D18-339
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 13, 2019
    ...unless the decision is purely one of law which would entail de novo review. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd. , 177 So.3d 1277, 1282 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015)."[G]enerally ... stipulations as to questions of law are not binding ...." Marion Cty. v. Dep't of Juvenile Justice , 2......
  • Wiener v. Country Club at Woodfield, Inc., No. 4D17-2120
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 5, 2018
    ...commencement of trial from the improper selection of words in the stipulation. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd. , 177 So.3d 1277, 1280 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015). Thus, Woodfield Club argues that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. However, our review of the record in......
3 cases
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Statsick, Case No. 2D15–5388
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 14, 2017
    ...the argument that there had been a mistake remediable under rule 1.540(b)(1). See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd., 177 So.3d 1277, 1280 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015) ("Nor does [rule 1.540(b)(1) ] allow a party to avoid the consequences of a decision to settle litigation even if the ......
  • Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. Pin-Pon Corp., Nos. 4D18-339
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 13, 2019
    ...unless the decision is purely one of law which would entail de novo review. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd. , 177 So.3d 1277, 1282 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015)."[G]enerally ... stipulations as to questions of law are not binding ...." Marion Cty. v. Dep't of Juvenile Justice , 2......
  • Wiener v. Country Club at Woodfield, Inc., No. 4D17-2120
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 5, 2018
    ...commencement of trial from the improper selection of words in the stipulation. See Eagle FL VI SPE, LLC v. T & A Family P'ship, Ltd. , 177 So.3d 1277, 1280 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015). Thus, Woodfield Club argues that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. However, our review of the record in......

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