Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, No. 85489

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtGRIMES
Citation666 So.2d 898
Docket NumberNo. 85489
Decision Date25 January 1996
Parties21 Fla. L. Weekly S41 MOONLIT WATERS APARTMENTS, INC., Petitioner, v. Joseph J. CAULEY, Respondent.

Page 898

666 So.2d 898
21 Fla. L. Weekly S41
MOONLIT WATERS APARTMENTS, INC., Petitioner,
v.
Joseph J. CAULEY, Respondent.
No. 85489.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 25, 1996.

Page 899

Harvey K. Mattel, Fort Lauderdale, for Petitioner.

Michael T. Burke and Christine M. Duignan of Johnson, Anselmo, Murdoch, Burke & George, Fort Lauderdale, for Respondent.

GRIMES, Chief Justice.

We have for review Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, 651 So.2d 1269 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995), wherein the district court of appeal certified the following question to be of great public importance:

WHETHER SECTION 719.401(1)(f)1 APPLIES TO AN EXISTING LONG TERM GROUND LEASE ENTERED INTO AT ARM'S LENGTH UPON WHICH ALL IMPROVEMENTS OF A COOPERATIVE APARTMENT COMPLEX HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED.

Id. at 1271.

We have jurisdiction. Art. V, Sec. 3(b)(4), Fla. Const.

Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. (Moonlit Waters) is the governing association of a twenty-unit cooperative apartment building with a pool, a dock, and parking areas, all on three subdivision lots on the east side of the intracoastal waterway in Broward County. Moonlit Waters has a 99-year ground lease, which commenced in 1965, providing for annual rental payments adjusted at ten-year intervals based upon changes in the consumer price index. Joseph J. Cauley is lessor of the property, as trustee for the owner. In 1991, Moonlit Waters informed Cauley that it wished to purchase the entire property, pursuant to section 719.401(1)(f)1, Florida Statutes (1991), which requires a lease of recreational or other commonly used facilities, entered into before the unit owners receive control of the association, to include an option to purchase. Cauley refused to enter into negotiations with Moonlit Waters to sell the property.

Moonlit Waters filed a motion to appoint an arbitrator to decide upon a sales price for the property, pursuant to section 719.401(1)(f)1. The circuit court denied the motion, finding that the statute violated the United States and Florida constitutions. The court reasoned that appointing an arbitrator would violate Cauley's due process rights by denying him the opportunity to retain property in which he has a vested right. The Fourth District Court of Appeal declined to reach the constitutional issue, finding that the statute applies only to a lease of recreational or other commonly used facilities, and does not apply to an all-encompassing underlying land lease. Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc.,...

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  • LAWNWOOD Med. Ctr. INC. v. SADOW, No. 4D08-1968.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 24, 2010
    ...Hamm, 414 So.2d 1071, 1073 (Fla.1982). 14. Golf Channel v. Jenkins, 752 So.2d 561, 564 (Fla.2000); Moonlit Waters Apts., Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla. 15. Forsythe v. Longboat Key Beach Erosion Control Dist., 604 So.2d 452, 455 (Fla. 1992). 16. State v. Goode, 830 So.2d 817, 824 ......
  • Closet Maid v. Sykes, No. 1D98-660.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 15, 2000
    ...the court must look first to the plain meaning of the terms used in the statute itself. See Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898 (Fla.1996); Acosta v. Richter, 671 So.2d 149 (1996). If the language and meaning are clear, the court must interpret the statute according to ......
  • Gretna Racing, LLC v. Dep't of Bus. & Prof'l Regulation, No. 1D14–3484.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 2, 2015
    ...persuasive. "In construing a statute, we look first to the statute's plain meaning." Moonlit Waters Apts., Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla.1996). "[R]elative and qualifying words, phrases and clauses are to be applied to the words or phrase immediately preceding, and ......
  • Knowles v. Beverly Enterprises-Florida, No. SC00-1910.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 16, 2004
    ...that intent, we have explained that "we look first to the statute's plain meaning." Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla.1996). Normally, "[w]hen the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous and conveys a clear and definite meaning, there......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
60 cases
  • LAWNWOOD Med. Ctr. INC. v. SADOW, No. 4D08-1968.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 24, 2010
    ...Hamm, 414 So.2d 1071, 1073 (Fla.1982). 14. Golf Channel v. Jenkins, 752 So.2d 561, 564 (Fla.2000); Moonlit Waters Apts., Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla. 15. Forsythe v. Longboat Key Beach Erosion Control Dist., 604 So.2d 452, 455 (Fla. 1992). 16. State v. Goode, 830 So.2d 817, 824 ......
  • Closet Maid v. Sykes, No. 1D98-660.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 15, 2000
    ...the court must look first to the plain meaning of the terms used in the statute itself. See Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898 (Fla.1996); Acosta v. Richter, 671 So.2d 149 (1996). If the language and meaning are clear, the court must interpret the statute according to ......
  • Gretna Racing, LLC v. Dep't of Bus. & Prof'l Regulation, No. 1D14–3484.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 2, 2015
    ...persuasive. "In construing a statute, we look first to the statute's plain meaning." Moonlit Waters Apts., Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla.1996). "[R]elative and qualifying words, phrases and clauses are to be applied to the words or phrase immediately preceding, and ......
  • Knowles v. Beverly Enterprises-Florida, No. SC00-1910.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 16, 2004
    ...that intent, we have explained that "we look first to the statute's plain meaning." Moonlit Waters Apartments, Inc. v. Cauley, 666 So.2d 898, 900 (Fla.1996). Normally, "[w]hen the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous and conveys a clear and definite meaning, there......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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