DESTINATION BOAT CLUBS, INC., and DAVID E. SUTTON, JR., Appellants,
ISLAND BREEZE BOAT CLUB & RENTAL INC.; PETER THOMAS STAVROU; BESSY STAVROU and ALEXANDRA STAVROU, Appellees.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Lee County; Keith R. Kyle, Judge.
L. Avery of Avery, Whigham & Winesett, P.A., Fort Myers,
appearance for Appellant, David E. Sutton, Jr.
C. Morgan, III, and Noel J. Davies of Roetzel & Andress,
LPA, Fort Myers, for Appellees, Peter Thomas Stavrou, Bessy
Stavrou and Alexandra Stavrou.
appearance for Appellee, Island Breeze Boat Club &
Boat Clubs, Inc., appeals the order denying its motion for
attorney fees and costs after Destination received a judgment
in its favor in proceedings supplementary against Island
Breeze Boat Club and Rentals, Inc., and Peter, Bessy, and
Alexandra Stavrou. We affirm the order to the extent that it
denied fees and costs against Peter Stavrou individually.
However, we reverse the portion of the order that denied fees
and costs against Island Breeze because it was contrary to
the court's oral rulings at the evidentiary hearing and
not supported by competent substantial evidence.
case began with a contract between Destination and Island
Breeze. Destination attempted to renegotiate the terms of the
agreement with Island Breeze, which declined and withdrew
from the contract entirely. Destination sought repayment of a
$10, 000 deposit it had paid to Peter Stavrou, the sole
officer and director of Island Breeze. Stavrou declined and
transferred all of Island Breeze's monetary assets to the
Stavrous' personal bank account, and Island Breeze sued
Destination for breach of contract. Destination countersued
Island Breeze for breach of contract and sought return of the
Destination obtained a judgment for the $10, 000 deposit and
$36, 552.90 in attorney fees and costs, it initiated
proceedings supplementary against the Stavrous, alleging that
the transfers from Island Breeze to the Stavrous were
fraudulent and an attempt to avoid paying any judgment in
favor of Destination. The circuit court entered judgment in
favor of Destination in the proceedings supplementary and
ordered the transfers undone. This court affirmed that order
on appeal, reversing only to the extent that the judgment
entered against Peter Stavrou exceeded the amount of the
judgment against Island Breeze. See Stavrou v.
Destination Boat Clubs, Inc., No. 2D16-390 (Fla. 2d DCA
May 31, 2017).
sought fees and costs generated during the proceedings
supplementary against Island Breeze and Peter Stavrou. There
is no transcript of the hearing on this motion, but
Destination provided an approved statement of the evidence on
appeal. See Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(b)(4). According
to the statement of the evidence, Island Breeze was not
represented by counsel at the hearing. The statement of the
evidence also reflected that the court found that Destination
was entitled to reasonable costs and fees pursuant to section
56.29(11), Florida Statutes (2015). The court considered
evidence as to amounts and found that Destination had proven
that 162 hours at $250 an hour-a total of $40, 500-was a
reasonable amount for fees and that Destination was entitled
to recover $1012.15 in costs. The court found that
Destination was entitled to recover these amounts against
Island Breeze but not against Peter Stavrou. However, after
the hearing the court entered an order denying the motion in
its entirety. Destination now appeals this order, arguing
that it is entitled to recover fees and costs against Island
Breeze and against Peter Stavrou individually.
our review of an order denying fees is for an abuse of
discretion; however "[w]here entitlement rests on the
interpretation of a statute or contract, our review is de
novo." Raza v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust
Co., 100 So.3d 121, 123 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) (citing
Country Place Cmty. Ass'n v. J.P. Morgan Mortg.
Acquisition Corp., 51 So.3d 1176, 1179 (Fla. 2d DCA
2010)). Section 56.29(11) provides for the award of fees and
costs against the judgment debtor in proceedings
supplementary. The statement of the evidence reflects that
the attorney fee and cost awards were supported by competent
substantial evidence and that they were unopposed by Island
Breeze, the judgment debtor. Moreover the award of costs was
mandatory under section 56.29(11). See Gaedeke Holdings,
Ltd. v. Mortg. Consultants, Inc., 877 So.2d 824, 827
(Fla. 4th DCA 2004) ("[C]osts for proceedings
supplementary shall be taxed against the defendant."
(quoting § 56.29(11))). Accordingly, we reverse the
order denying attorney fees and costs against Island Breeze.
extent that Destination argues that the trial court should
have awarded attorney fees and costs against Peter Stavrou
individually, we disagree. "[I]mpleaded parties are not
liable for attorney's fees and costs in . . . proceedings
supplementary. In such proceedings, attorney's fees and
costs may be awarded only against the original judgment
debtor-not against any impleaded parties." Kingston
Corp. Grp. of Fla. v. Richard Kleiber Walter Kleiber
P'ship, 127 So.3d 802, 804 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013);
see also Gaedeke, 877 So.2d at 826 ("[C]hapter
56 demonstrates that attorney's fees, if awarded, are to
be assessed against the judgment debtor." (quoting
Rosenfeld v. TPI Int'l Airways, 630 So.2d 1167,
1169 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993))). However, once a judgment for fees
is entered against the judgment debtor, the trial court may
apply assets previously determined to have been fraudulently