final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Jeffrey D. Gillen, Judge; L.T. Case No.
K. Reilly and Matthew H. Mandel of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole
& Bierman, P.L., Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.
M. Balkan of Balkan & Patterson, LLP, Boca Raton, for
Claire Basso was arrested for driving under the influence
("DUI"), she filed a lawsuit against the City of
Boca Raton ("the City") for false arrest and false
imprisonment. She prevailed on the false imprisonment claim,
and was awarded $32, 000 in damages. Although she obtained
this judgment against the City, the trial court nevertheless
ordered Basso to pay $6, 117.04 in court costs to the City.
We affirm the trial court's $32, 000 final judgment
entered against the City, but reverse the court's final
judgment on costs, and remand for the trial court to award
Basso all of her taxable costs incurred in this case.
night of September 12, 2013, Basso was pulled over for an
expired license tag. As the officer approached her vehicle,
he saw a half-empty wine bottle, two unopened beer cans, and
smelled alcohol on Basso's breath. After Basso
underperformed on the roadside sobriety exercises, she was
arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
was transported to the Boca Raton Police Department just
after midnight, where she was given a breathalyzer test that
registered .000. Although the officer admitted he had
"no proof" that she was under the influence of any
drugs and she appeared "lucid" while answering
questions, Basso was not released from police custody until
approximately 10:00 a.m. that morning.
initially sued the City for false arrest, but later amended
her complaint to add a false imprisonment claim. After three
days of trial, the jury found that while the City had
probable cause for initially arresting Basso, it did not have
probable cause for her continued restraint. In other words,
the City prevailed on the false arrest claim, but Basso
prevailed on the false imprisonment claim. The jury awarded
her $32, 000 in damages.
the City filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the
verdict ("JNOV"), and argued Basso did not present
sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that
probable cause "evaporated" between her initial
arrest and her continued detention. This motion was denied
and the court entered final judgment in Basso's favor.
parties then filed post-trial motions for costs. The City
alleged it was entitled to costs because it prevailed on the
false arrest claim. Basso, on the other hand, contended that
she was entitled to costs because she was awarded $32, 000
after prevailing on the false imprisonment claim.
trial court ordered, "[The City] is entitled to recover
its claimed costs in their entirety on the false-arrest count
and [Basso] is entitled to recover her claimed costs in their
entirety on the false-imprisonment count." In pertinent
part, the final judgment on costs provided:
1.Per the Court's Order on May 11, 2017, [Basso] is
entitled to $2, 494.83, which are her costs incurred in her
claim for false imprisonment (Count II).
2.Per the Court's Order on May 11, 2017, [the City] is
entitled to $8, 611.87, which are its costs incurred in
defense of ...