United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ORANGE LAKE COUNTRY CLUB, INC. and WILSON RESORT FINANCE, L.L.C., Plaintiffs,
CASTLE LAW GROUP, P.C., JUDSON PHILLIPS ESQ, CASTLE MARKETING GROUP, LLC, CASTLE VENTURE GROUP, LLC, RESORT RELIEF, LLC, WILLIAM MICHAEL KEEVER, KEVIN HANSON and SEAN AUSTIN, Defendants.
GREGORY A. PRESNELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss Second
Amended Complaint (Doc. 62) filed by Defendant Sean Austin
(henceforth, “Austin”) and the response in
opposition (Doc. 69) filed by the Plaintiffs, Orange Lake
Country Club, Inc. (“Orange Lake”) and Wilson
Resort Finance, L.L.C. (“Wilson Finance”).
to the allegations of the Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 60),
which are accepted in pertinent part as true for purposes of
resolving the instant motion, Orange Lake develops, sells and
manages timeshare properties, including some in Florida, and
Wilson Finance provides mortgage financing for some of the
purchasers of those properties. (Doc. 60 at 5-6). Individuals
who buy timeshare interests from Orange Lake (henceforth,
“Orange Lake Owners”) enter into purchase
agreements. (Doc. 60 at 6). Under those purchase agreements,
in addition to the original purchase price, Orange Lake
Owners are obligated to pay a share of their timeshare
development's ongoing maintenance fees, assessments, and
other expenses. (Doc. 60 at 6).
Castle Venture Group, LLC (“Castle Venture”)
funds Defendant Castle Marketing Group, LLC (“Castle
Marketing”). (Doc. 60 at 8). Along with Defendant
Resort Relief, LLC (“Resort Relief”), Castle
Marketing solicits timeshare owners, including the Orange
Lake Owners, who wish to get out of their obligations under
their purchase agreements. Such owners are directed to retain
Defendant Castle Law. As one step in the process of getting out
of their purchase agreements, Orange Lake Owners who retain
Castle Law are encouraged to breach those agreements by
refusing to make any more payments to Orange Lake. (Doc. 60
instant case was filed on June 8, 2017. (Doc. 1). On
September 21, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended
Complaint (Doc. 60), which consists of six counts: tortious
interference with existing contracts (Count I); tortious
interference with advantageous business relationships (Count
II); civil conspiracy (Count III); violation of Section
721.121, Florida Statutes (Count IV); violation of
Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“FDUTPA”) (Count V); and temporary and permanent
injunctive relief (Count VI). The statutory claim in Count IV
is asserted against Resort Relief, Hansen and Austin. The
remaining counts are asserted against all of the Defendants.
of the instant motion, Austin seeks dismissal of all six
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief” so as to give the defendant fair
notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests, Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct.
99, 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957), overruled on other
grounds, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). A Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
merely tests the sufficiency of the complaint; it does not
decide the merits of the case. Milburn v. United
States, 734 F.2d 762, 765 (11th Cir.1984). In ruling on
a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the factual
allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. SEC v. ESM Group,
Inc., 835 F.2d 270, 272 (11th Cir.1988). The Court must
also limit its consideration to the pleadings and any
exhibits attached thereto. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c); see also
GSW, Inc. v. Long County, Ga., 999 F.2d 1508, 1510 (11th
plaintiff must provide enough factual allegations to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1966, and to
indicate the presence of the required elements, Watts v.
Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1302 (11th Cir.
2007). Conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual deductions
or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not prevent
dismissal. Davila v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 326 F.3d
1183, 1185 (11th Cir. 2003).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173
L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), the Supreme Court explained that a
complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations,
“but it demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading
that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of
further factual enhancement.” Id. at 1949
(internal citations and quotations omitted). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged - but it has not ‘show[n]' - ‘that
the plaintiff is entitled to relief.'” Id.
at 1950 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
with the entry of this order, the Court has entered an order
(Doc. 83) resolving a motion to dismiss filed by two of
Austin's co-defendants - Castle Law Group, P.C., and
Judson Phillips. With one exception, Austin makes the same
arguments in his motion as were made by his co-defendants in
theirs, leading to the same results. Accordingly, for the
reasons set forth in that order, Counts II, V, and VI will
also be dismissed without prejudice as to Austin.
exception involves Count IV, which the Plaintiffs did not
assert against Castle Law and Phillips. In Count IV, the
Plaintiffs allege that Resort Relief, Hanson, and Austin
violated a recordkeeping obligation under Florida's
Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act (“FVPTA”), Fla.
Stat. §§ 721.02-721.98. The Plaintiffs allege ...