John G. Schanck, Appellant,
William M. Gayhart and Debra L. Buchanan, as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Myong-He Gayhart, Appellees.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Hugh A.
Stephanie A. Sussman of Bledsoe, Jacobson, Schmidt, Wright
& Sussman, Jacksonville; Gideon I. Alper and Jonathan B.
Alper of Alper Law, PLLC, Oviedo, for Appellant.
J. Battista, William Barry Blum and Heather L. Harmon of
Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A., Miami, for Appellees.
argues that the trial court exceeded its authority and
improperly exercised jurisdiction over assets located outside
of Florida. The court ordered Appellant to cancel, reissue,
and turn over to his former wife's estate stock and
membership certificates in Stellar Recovery, Inc., and
DataSignals, LLC, Florida business entities owned solely by
Appellant. Because we conclude the trial court was within its
legal and equitable authority to aid the Estate in executing
a monetary judgment against Appellant, we affirm.
2015, the marriage between Appellant and his late wife
Myong-He Gayhart was dissolved by Consent Final Judgment.
Gayhart waived alimony and claims to her share of certain
assets, including any interest in Stellar Recovery, Inc., in
exchange for an equalizing payment of $2.5 million, to be
paid by Appellant in monthly installments. Thus, Appellant
was able to retain 100% interest in Stellar.
Gayhart was terminally ill, the settlement agreement
specifically provided that the payments would survive her
death and could be enforced by her estate. But following
Gayhart's death, Appellant failed to make payments to the
Estate. A judgment for $207, 862.64, covering five
consecutive missed payments, was entered December 20, 2016.
Appellant paid this judgment on February 9, 2017, but by that
time had failed to make payments due in January and February
2017, and a second judgment for $74, 475.81 was entered on
February 27, 2017.
deposition in February 2017, Appellant testified that he did
not know where the stock certificates were located. The
Estate then filed a motion seeking a court order to aid in
executing the judgment against Appellant. The motion
requested that the court order Appellant to turn over the
stock and membership certificates in Stellar Recovery, Inc.
and DataSignals, LLC, and that if the certificates had been
lost or were unable to be located, to order Appellant to
reissue the certificates and turn them over to the Estate.
did not appear at the hearing on the Estate's motion, but
the parties stipulated to his affidavit his testimony.
Appellant asserted that in December 2016 or January 2017, the
Stellar and DataSignals certificates had been transported to
his new wife's residence in Canada. Although this change
in location occurred only weeks before Appellant's
deposition, where he testified that he did not know where the
certificates were located, he provided no explanation for his
change in testimony. Appellant's counsel stated that she
had only recently learned the certificates were in Canada and
that the location was "a surprise to all of us."
counsel conceded that the law permitted a creditor to take a
debtor's interests in a single-member LLC or a
corporation fully owned by the debtor, but contended that,
because the certificates were located outside Florida, the
court lacked jurisdiction. Appellant further argued that
because the certificates were in a foreign jurisdiction, the
Estate was required to seek relief in the foreign
jurisdiction. The Estate argued that, while the court did not
have in rem jurisdiction over the certificates, it
had in personam jurisdiction over Appellant and
could order him to take action with respect to the
certificates. The Estate relied on section 678.1121(5),
Florida Statutes, which broadly authorizes the court to give
aid to a creditor to reach a certificated security interest.
court, concluding that the certificates "could not be
located, " and disagreeing with Appellant that a
"loophole in the law" required the Estate to pursue
the certificates in other jurisdictions, ordered Appellant to
cancel the existing stock and membership certificates in
Stellar and DataSignals, reissue them in his name, and
deliver them to counsel for the Estate. In his motion for
rehearing and reconsideration, Appellant argued that Stellar
and DataSignals were necessary parties to effectuate the
court's order and that there was insufficient evidence