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Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. v. City of Pembroke Pines

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

November 1, 2017

CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, INC., a Foreign Corporation, Appellant,
v.
CITY OF PEMBROKE PINES, a Florida Municipal Corporation; and CCA PROPERTIES OF AMERICA, LLC, a Tennessee Limited Liability Company, Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Carol-Lisa Philips, Judge; L.T. Case No. 12-007337 CACE (25).

          Leonard K. Samuels, Paul S. Figg and Ashley Dillman Bruce of Berger Singerman LLP, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

          Usher L. Brown and Victor Kline of Greenspoon Marder, P.A., Orlando, for appellee City of Pembroke Pines.

          Alfredo Marquez-Sterling and Keith M. Poliakoff of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Fort Lauderdale, for Amicus Curiae the Town of Southwest Ranches.

          ON MOTION FOR REHEARING

          Ciklin, J.

         We grant appellee's motion for rehearing in part, withdraw our previously issued opinion, and substitute the following in its place to correct an erroneous factual reference.

         Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA") appeals a trial court order-sounding in declaratory relief-holding that the City of Pembroke Pines did not have a duty to provide water and sewer services to CCA's property site, as well as a final order dismissing CCA's counterclaims. Because we find that Pembroke Pines affirmatively expressed its intention to assume such a duty, we reverse the order determining that Pembroke Pines did not. Because it appears the trial court dismissed CCA's counterclaims based on its determination that Pembroke Pines did not have a duty to CCA, we also reverse the order dismissing CCA's counterclaims.

         Background

         CCA sought sewer and water services from Pembroke Pines for its property located in the Town of Southwest Ranches but adjacent to Pembroke Pines ("the CCA site"). Pembroke Pines operates potable water and sewer systems that service properties within its boundaries, as well as some properties outside of those boundaries. Those services provided outside of the boundaries extend to a limited number of residential and commercial properties. Southwest Ranches does not have potable water or sewer systems to service its residents, and Pembroke Pines is the only provider in the area. The CCA site is surrounded by four other properties, all of which are, or were at one time, serviced by Pembroke Pines' water or sewer systems (or both). Only one of these properties is actually located within the boundaries of Pembroke Pines.[1] At all times relevant to this dispute, Pembroke Pines admitted that it had the capacity and infrastructure in place to provide water and sewer services to the CCA site through its systems that abut the site.

         In 2005, CCA and Southwest Ranches entered into an agreement concerning the development of a correctional facility on the CCA site. The agreement provided that "all required water, sewer and other utility services are available" at the CCA site. CCA was advised that while a water and sewer agreement with Pembroke Pines would be required, it was unclear whether the Pembroke Pines City Commission would grant those services. However, later in 2005, Southwest Ranches entered into an interlocal agreement with Pembroke Pines regarding local roadways and other matters ("Roadways ILA"), in which Pembroke Pines agreed not to interfere with the development or operation of CCA's jail facility:

Jail Facility. [Pembroke Pines] shall not interfere with [CCA's], or its successors or assigns, development and/or operation of the jail facility, or with [Southwest Ranches]'s Agreement with [CCA] concerning development of same.

          In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") tentatively selected the CCA site to build a new detention facility. A few days later, Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches entered into another interlocal agreement concerning emergency medical and fire services (the "EMS ILA") that provided in pertinent part:

Jail Facility: [Pembroke Pines] acknowledges that it has sufficient capacity to deliver emergency medical protection and fire prevention services to [Southwest Ranches]'s future 2, 500 bed detention/corrections facility, located on property currently owned by [CCA]. [Pembroke Pines] agrees to timely provide Broward County, upon request, any documentation that Broward County may require to acknowledge that Pembroke Pines has the capacity, ability, and the willingness to service this facility under the terms and conditions contained herein. . . . Further, [Pembroke Pines] agrees that it has sufficient capacity to provide water and sewer service to [Southwest Ranches]'s future 2, 500 bed detention/corrections facility (approximately 500, 000 gross square feet of floor area), and that it will expeditiously approve a water/waste water utility agreement to provide such service, at [Pembroke Pines]'s then prevailing rate, in accordance with state law ([Pembroke Pines]'s rate surcharge).

(Emphasis added). In a special meeting on June 27, 2011, the Pembroke Pines City Commission voted on and approved the EMS ILA in Resolution No. 3312.

         Some five months later, in December 2011, the City Commission passed yet another affirmative motion, that one being "to approve direction that, should CCA come forward with a request for Pembroke Pines to provide them water and sewer service, that the water and sewer agreement stipulate that it would be for not more than 1, 500 beds based on the Engineer's report" (the "December 2011 Motion"). CCA then submitted to Pembroke Pines a proposed Water and Sewer Installation and Service Agreement (the "W & S Agreement") for a 1, 500-bed facility, and requested that the matter be finalized at the first available City Commission meeting. Pursuant to the EMS ILA, the Pembroke Pines city attorney and the Pembroke Pines city manager agreed on the contractual terms with CCA and the W & S Agreement was then submitted to the City Commission. In an abrupt departure from the numerous manifestations of intent expressed by the Pembroke Pines City Commission over the previous six years, the City Commission did not vote on the W & S Agreement and quite to the contrary, formally adopted a resolution expressing its opposition to ...


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