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The Waves of Hialeah, Inc. v. Machado

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

April 18, 2018

The Waves of Hialeah, Inc., Appellant,
v.
Julia Machado, etc., et al., Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Reemberto Diaz, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 16-9731

          Luks, Santaniello, Petrillo & Jones, and Edgardo Ferreyra, Jr., Daniel J. Santaniello (Boca Raton), Heather M. Calhoon, and Daniel S. Weinger, for appellant.

          The Haggard Law Firm, P.A., and James C. Blecke, for appellees.

          Before EMAS, FERNANDEZ and LUCK, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         ON MOTION FOR REVIEW

         The Waves of Hialeah, Inc. ("The Waves"), the defendant and judgment debtor below, seeks review of the trial court's order denying its "Motion to Set Good and Sufficient Bond and Other Conditions." We generally review the trial court's order on a motion for supersedeas bond under an abuse of discretion standard. City of Lauderdale Lakes v. Corn, 415 So.2d 1270 (Fla. 1982). However, to the extent that the trial court's determination rests upon the construction of a rule or statute, our review is de novo. See, e.g., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Sikes, 191 So.3d 491 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). For the reasons that follow, we deny the motion for review.

         FACTS AND BACKGROUND[1]

         Appellees Julia Machado and Rafael Guevara, as co-personal representatives of the Estate of Yaimi Guevara Machado, filed suit against The Waves. The suit alleged that Yaimi was murdered while on the premises of The Waves, and that Yaimi's death was the result of negligent or inadequate security provided by The Waves.

         Following a trial, the jury awarded damages in the total amount of twelve million dollars. Final judgment was entered on December 4, 2017, and the trial court denied The Waves' post-trial motions.

         Thereafter, The Waves filed a Motion to Set Good and Sufficient Bond and Other Conditions. In its motion, The Waves recognized that, pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.310(b)(1), where the judgment is "solely for the payment of money, a party may obtain an automatic stay of execution pending review, without the necessity of a motion or order, by posting a good and sufficient bond equal to the principal amount of the judgment plus twice the statutory rate of interest on the total amount on which the party has an obligation to pay interest."

         Notwithstanding this automatic stay provision for money judgments, The Waves asked the trial court to reduce the amount of the bond necessary for a stay pending appeal, suggesting that the posting of one million dollars, together with the setting of non-monetary conditions, [2] would constitute a "good and sufficient bond."

         At the hearing on the motion, counsel for The Waves argued that the posting of a twelve million dollar bond (plus two years' interest at the statutory rate) "[w]ill most likely bankrupt my client." Also at the hearing, The Waves conceded that this court has previously construed rule 9.310(b)(1) as the only method by which an ...


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