final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from a non-final order from the Circuit Court for
Miami-Dade County Lower Tribunal No. 16-25189 Eric William
Bernhard Law Firm PLLC, and Andrew J. Bernhard, for
Tropin & Throckmorton, LLP, and Javier A. Lopez, Dyanne
E. Feinberg, and Stephanie Moncada Gomez, for appellee.
ROTHENBERG, C.J., and LAGOA and LOGUE, JJ.
Luiz Queiroz and Karine Queiroz, seek review of the trial
court's orders denying their motions to quash the service
of process made upon them individually while they attended
depositions in their capacities as corporate officers of Soho
Bay Restaurant, LLC (Soho Bay), and entering sanctions
against them. We reverse.
appellee, Bentley Bay Retail, LLC, filed suit against four
defendants: Soho Bay; Luiz Queiroz; Karine Queiroz; and Katz,
Barron, Squitero, Faust, Friedberg, English & Allen, P.A.
(Katz Barron). Soho Bay was served via its manager, Max
Heindl. Luiz and Karine Queiroz reside in Brazil and are
corporate officers of Soho Bay. The sole count against Luiz
and Karine Queiroz, individually, was for breach of personal
Bay filed notices to take the depositions of Luiz and Karine
Queiroz. Luiz and Karine Queiroz repeatedly tried to fend off
these depositions. First, they argued that immigration issues
made it unduly burdensome for them to appear in the United
States. Then they argued they could not be deposed in Brazil.
Ultimately, the trial court had to order them to "appear
for deposition in their corporate capacity." Following a
motion for reconsideration, the trial court again ordered
them to appear for deposition. Luiz and Karine Queiroz then
agreed to come to Florida to be deposed. At the depositions,
Luiz and Karine Queiroz were served with suit in their
individual capacities. They moved to quash service, arguing
they were immune from service of process because they were
appearing in the jurisdiction to be deposed in their
corporate capacities. The trial court denied the
appellants' motion and this appeal followed.
Florida law, "[i]t is well established . . . that
witnesses and suitors in attendance in court outside of the
territorial jurisdiction of their residence are immune from
service of process while attending court and for a reasonable
time before and after going to court and in returning to
their homes." Murphy & Jordan, Inc. v. Ins. Co.
of N. Am., 278 So.2d 296, 297 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973)
Bay argues that this case falls within an exception to
Murphy. "Murphy recognized that its
rule of immunity to process does not apply when there is (1)
identity of parties and (2) identity of issues."
Id. (citations omitted). Here, however, there was no
identity of the parties.
and Karine Queiroz were appearing in their corporate
capacities. Bentley Bay wants to serve them in their
individual capacity. For purposes of immunity from service of
process, there is no identity of a person in their corporate
capacity and individual capacity. Murphy, 278 So.2d
at 296-97 (finding that the exception to the immunity rule
did not apply where individual named defendants were served
with process at a deposition where they appeared in their
corporate capacities). This case therefore does not fall
within the exception.
Bay, however, argues that Luiz and Karine Queiroz have
sufficient minimum contacts to subject them to jurisdiction
under Florida's long-arm statute, section 48.193, Florida
Statutes. See Venetian Salami Co. v. Parthenais, 554
So.2d 499, 502 (Fla. 1989). Whether Luiz and Karine Queiroz
are subject to long-arm jurisdiction, an issue we do not
decide, is irrelevant to our ruling. Even if they are subject
to long-arm jurisdiction, Luiz and Karine Queiroz still need
to be served. Under Murphy, they cannot be served
while attending a court-ordered deposition.
we reverse the trial court's order denying the motion to
quash service and to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and
remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
The sanctions order established Bentley Bay's entitlement
to fees "expended on these matters." We reverse the
sanctions order to the extent it awards ...