final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Mily Rodriguez-Powell, Judge; L.T. Case No.
E. Trench of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Miami, for appellant.
S. Miller of Robert S. Miller, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, for
appellee Anand Amarnath.
Symcon Development Group Corp. appeals the trial court's
denial of its motion to intervene, arguing the court should
not have denied its motion because Appellant had a direct and
immediate interest in the subject matter of the underlying
lawsuit between Appellees Bindu Passero and Anand Amarnath.
As set forth below, we agree with Appellant, and reverse and
remand for the trial court to grant Appellant's motion.
Passero ("Plaintiff") filed an amended verified
complaint against her brother, Anand Amarnath
("Defendant"), alleging Defendant committed
tortious acts leading to the improper transfer of certain
real property from their father to Defendant. Allegedly,
after their father suffered a stroke, Defendant "unduly
influenced the Decedent [father] into executing a Quit-Claim
Deed dated November 16, 2011, which had the effect of
removing Plaintiff as a remainder beneficiary of the subject
real property upon the death of the Decedent." Plaintiff
attached the quit-claim deed to the verified complaint, and
contended she "would have been a joint owner of the
subject real property but for the improper conduct of the
learning of the suit, Appellant filed an Emergency Motion to
Intervene. Appellant sought intervention because
"Intervenor has a pending Residential Contract for Sale
and Purchase with Defendant, ANAND AMARNATH, to purchase the
Property . . . ." Appellant attached the land sale
contract to its motion, and stated that it was "affected
in a direct and immediate manner such that Intervenor will
either gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect
of the Court's final judgment in this matter."
trial court denied the motion to intervene. The court's
decision found Appellant's interest in the case was
"merely indirect, inconsequential, or contingent, "
and noted that Defendant could adequately defend
Appellant's interest in the underlying lawsuit. It also
found that Appellant could sufficiently guard its interest in
the property by bringing separate suit. Appellant filed a
motion for reconsideration, but the trial court denied it,
explaining that because Defendant "no longer desires to
go forward with the sale" with Appellant, the matter was
moot and intervention unnecessary. The court also noted it was denying the
motion for reconsideration because Appellant had since
initiated a separate lawsuit to enforce the contract.
review an order denying a motion to intervene for abuse of
discretion." De Sousa v. JP Morgan Chase, N.A.,
170 So.3d 928, 929 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).
to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.230, "[a]nyone
claiming an interest in pending litigation may at any time be
permitted to assert a right by intervention, but the
intervention shall be in subordination to, and in recognition
of, the propriety of the main proceeding, unless otherwise
ordered by the court in its discretion." Shedding light
on the rule, the Florida Supreme Court has established the
definitive test for determining whether a third party can
"It has generally been held that the interest which will
entitle a person to intervene under this provision must be in
the matter in litigation, and of such a direct and immediate
character that the intervener will either gain or lose by the
direct legal operation and effect of the judgment. In other
words, the interest must be that created by a claim to the
demand in suit or some part thereof, or a claim ...