Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Head v. Sorensen

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

June 16, 2017

VINCENT HEAD, Appellant,
v.
LAURENE SORENSEN, as the sole surviving trustee under a trust instrument known as the Crepe Trust, dated February 28, 1972, and amended and restated as of January 10, 2002; BAYFRONT TOWER CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION RESIDENTIAL, INC.; TROPICAL REALTY & INVESTMENTS, INC., d/b/a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group; and THOMAS E. HALLIS, Appellees.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Pinellas County; Pamela A.M. Campbell, Judge.

          Adam B. Brouillet, Charles M. Harris, and Marie Tomassi of Trenam, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye, O'Neill & Mullis, P.A., St. Petersburg, for Appellant.

          Courtney L. Fernald and Leonard S. Englander of Englander Fischer, St. Petersburg, for Appellee Laurene Sorensen.

          No appearance for remaining Appellees.

          VILLANTI, Chief Judge.

         Vincent Head appeals the final summary judgment entered in favor of Laurene Sorensen, as the Sole Surviving Trustee under a Trust Instrument known as the Crepe Trust, dated February 28, 1972, and amended and restated as of January 10, 2002 (Sorensen), in this case arising out of a contract for the purchase and sale of a condominium that is part of the Bayfront Tower Condominium Association Residential, Inc. (the Association). Because material questions of fact exist concerning whether Sorensen acted in good faith in attempting to procure the Association's approval of the contract, the trial court erred by entering final summary judgment in favor of Sorensen, and we must therefore reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         After the death of her father, Sorensen sought to sell a condominium that he owned in Bayfront Tower in St. Petersburg. Sorensen, who lives in Idaho, obtained a referral to a local real estate agent, who prepared a market analysis of the condominium based on a number of factors, including its location and condition. Sorensen told the agent that she needed to sell the condominium quickly to obtain the cash necessary to pay some of the trust's expenses. Based on the condition of the condominium together with Sorensen's desire to expedite a sale, the agent recommended a listing price of $405, 000. Sorensen agreed and listed the condominium for sale at $405, 000.

         Head had been looking at condominiums in downtown St. Petersburg for a period of time because he wanted to relocate there from Tampa. He learned of Sorensen's condominium through the listing agent, and he made a full-price offer to Sorensen the same day the condominium was listed. Sorensen accepted the offer, and the listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website was updated to show that the condominium was sold with a contract price of $405, 000. On May 31, 2015, both Head and Sorensen signed the contract for purchase and sale of the condominium at the listing price, and closing was set for July 13, 2015.

         The day the MLS listing was updated to show the pending sale, Sorensen received a telephone call from another owner in the Bayfront Tower condominium. In that conversation, the owner told Sorensen that, in his opinion, the sales price for her father's condominium was too low and that she could have gotten much more for it. Shortly after that telephone call, Sorensen contacted her agent and requested that he cancel the contract with Head and cancel the MLS listing. Sorensen signed a proposed "Release and Cancellation of Contract" document attempting to cancel the sale, and that document was forwarded to Head on June 8, 2015. Head refused to sign the cancellation and indicated his intent to go forward with the purchase.

         The contract for purchase and sale included a condominium rider that conditioned the sale of the condominium on the Association's approval of the buyer. Head timely filed his application with the Association, along with the requested supporting documents. Shortly thereafter, Sorensen contacted the Association and advised them that she did not want to go through with the sale. She told the Association that there were "legal issues" that might prevent the closing-although she did not identify what the alleged "legal issues" were-and she also suggested that the Association should closely investigate Head's ability to pay all of the costs associated with the condominium. When the Association subsequently expressed its intent to reject the contract on the basis of the low sales price, Sorensen stated that she had no objection to this. The Association then sent written notification to Sorensen that it was rejecting the contract. Based on this rejection, Sorensen advised Head that she would not attend closing on July 13 because the sale could not be completed due to the Association's rejection of the contract.

         In response, Head filed suit against Sorensen, alleging counts for injunctive relief, specific performance, and damages for breach of contract.[1] After extended discovery, Sorensen filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the contract had terminated under the title examination provision and therefore she was not liable to Head as a matter of law. The trial court held an extended hearing, and it granted final summary judgment in favor of Sorensen based on termination of the contract under both the title examination provision and the provision of the condominium rider that conditioned the sale on the Association's approval. Head then filed this appeal, raising three bases for reversal.

         Head first contends that the trial court erred by entering final summary judgment in favor of Sorensen under the title examination provision of the contract, arguing that questions of fact existed concerning whether Sorensen had complied with her obligations under that provision. We agree.

         Paragraph 18(A)(i) of the contract required that a title commitment "with legible copies of instruments listed as exceptions attached thereto" be delivered to Head no later than five days before closing. Paragraph 18(A)(ii) gave Head five days to examine the title commitment and notify Sorensen in writing of any defects that rendered the title unmarketable. The same paragraph gave Sorensen thirty days in which to cure any defects identified by Head after his review of the title commitment, and it contained an option to extend this cure period for an additional 120 days. The provision ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.