Michael T. Angelo d/b/a Orange Park Auto Mall, Appellant,
Timothy Parker, individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, Appellee.
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. Thomas M.
Michael Fox Orr and Jeremy M. Paul of Dawson Orr,
Professional Association, Jacksonville, for Appellant.
D. Mason, II and Elizabeth A. Buchwalter of Roger D. Mason,
II, P.A., Tampa, for Appellee.
T. Angelo d/b/a Orange Park Auto Mall (the Dealership)
appeals an order granting class certification in an action
brought under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade
Practices Act (FDUTPA). Timothy Parker moved to certify a
class of consumers who the Dealership purportedly overcharged
title and registration fees. The Dealership argues that the
trial court abused its discretion in certifying the class
because Parker did not allege a legally sufficient FDUTPA
claim, preventing the trial court from conducting the
rigorous analysis required before ordering class
certification. We agree.
purchased a vehicle from the Dealership and was charged $420
for title and registration fees. The sales contract signed by
Parker included a disclosure that the fees were estimated at
the time of sale but was silent about any overage. Eleven
days after the sale, the Dealership paid $403.90 to the
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for
the title and registration fees. The Dealership did not
refund Parker the difference between the estimate and the
amount paid to the DHSMV ($16.10).
sued the Dealership alleging that it violated FDUTPA by not
refunding the difference between the estimated title and
registration fees and the amount paid to the DHSMV. He later
amended the complaint to assert claims on behalf of a class
of consumers defined as:
(a)All persons or entities with Florida addresses at the time
of the transaction, who purchased or leased a vehicle from
(b) during the four-year period prior to the filing of his
action through class certification;
(c)and were charged and paid a title and registration fee
greater than the actual title and registration cost; and
(d) the difference between the amount charged and the actual
title cost was never refunded.
class action complaint alleged two FDUTPA violations: one of
FDUTPA generally and the other of section 501.203(3)(c),
Florida Statutes (2016). But there were no allegations to
describe how the Dealership's failure to refund the
difference between the actual and estimated cost of the title
and registration fees was an unfair or deceptive act. This