Joseph v. Chanin

Decision Date07 April 2004
Docket NumberNo. 4D03-2009.,4D03-2009.
Citation869 So.2d 738
PartiesBarbara JOSEPH and Peggy Ann Aronowitz, Appellants, v. Lena CHANIN, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Jay L. Kauffman, of Herb & Mednick, P.A., Boca Raton, for appellants.

H. Michael Muniz, of Sachs, Sax & Klein, Boca Raton, for appellee.

MAY, J.

Personal jurisdiction, or lack thereof, is the focus of this appeal. The defendants, Barbara Joseph and Peggy Ann Aronowitz, appeal the trial court's order denying their motion to dismiss count three (conversion) for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff, Lena Chanin, cross-appeals that part of the trial court's order granting the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction as to counts one and two (unjust enrichment and fraudulent conveyances). We affirm in all respects.

The plaintiff lived with the defendants' father for nine years. He passed away in November 2001. She filed a verified complaint alleging counts for unjust enrichment and fraudulent conveyances. The complaint alleged that during their relationship, she had given the defendants' father money to deposit in a joint account for living expenses, and that he wrongfully deposited the money into a savings account, safe deposit box, and two certificates of deposit for the benefit of the defendants. Neither defendant is a resident of the State of Florida; however, they both traveled to Florida to close the savings account and safe deposit box, and cash the CDs after their father's death.

The trial court held a hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and entered an order dismissing the verified complaint without prejudice. The plaintiff filed an amended verified complaint. This complaint alleged three counts: (1) unjust enrichment, (2) fraudulent conveyances, and (3) conversion. The defendants once again moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. This time, the trial court granted the motion as to counts one and two (unjust enrichment and fraudulent conveyances), but denied the motion as to count three (conversion).

Florida has established a two-prong test for determining jurisdiction over the person. Venetian Salami Co. v. Parthenais, 554 So.2d 499 (Fla.1989). The court must first determine whether the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to comply with Florida's long-arm statute, section 48.193, Florida Statutes (2001). Next, the court must determine if the defendant had sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Florida to satisfy due process.

The plaintiff alleged personal jurisdiction over the defendants as to counts one and two on the basis that they were "[o]perating, conducting, engaging in, or carrying on a business or business venture in this state or having an office or agency in this state." § 48.193(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2001). The plaintiff argues that closing the savings account and safe deposit box and cashing the CDs constitute "carrying on a business or business venture." Relying on Silver v. Levinson, 648 So.2d 240 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994), the plaintiff suggests that if an isolated transaction by a nonresident can be sufficient to comply with due process, surely four transactions must satisfy due process. We disagree.

It is not necessarily the number of transactions, but rather the nature and extent of the transaction(s) that determines whether a person is "carrying on a business or business venture" within the state. Id. Here, while the defendants executed four transactions, they were not of a nature or extensive enough to constitute the "carrying on a business or...

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    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • September 4, 2012
    ...that determines whether a person is ‘carrying on a business or business venture’ within the state.” Joseph v. Chanin, 869 So.2d 738, at 740 (Fla. 4 Dist.Ct.App.2004)(citing Silver v. Levinson, 648 So.2d 240 (Fla. 4 Dist.Ct.App.1994)).ii. The Parties' Arguments TG argues that subsection (a) ......
  • Taishan Gypsum Co. v. Gross (In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Prods. Liab. Litig.)
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • May 20, 2014
    ...of the transaction(s) that determines whether a person is ‘carrying on a business venture’ within the state.” Joseph v. Chanin, 869 So.2d 738, 740 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.2004). In Horizon Aggressive Growth, L.P. v. Rothstein–Kass, P.A., 421 F.3d 1162, 1167 (11th Cir.2005), the court highlighted “......
  • In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Prods. Liab. Litig.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • November 28, 2017
    ...that determines whether a person is 'carrying on a business or business venture' within the state." Joseph v. Chanin, 869 So.2d 738, 740 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2004) (citing Silver v. Levinson, 648 So.2d 240 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994)). In affirming this Court's jurisdiction over Taishan in F......
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    ...transaction(s) that determine[ ] whether a person is ‘carrying on a business or business venture’ within the state.” Joseph v. Chanin, 869 So.2d 738, 740 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) (citation omitted). “A ‘business venture’ can consist of a single project or transaction.” Atlantis Marina & Yacht Cl......
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