final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Okeechobee County; Laurie E. Buchanan, Judge; L.T. Case No.
M. Cameron of Colin M. Cameron, P.A., Okeechobee, for
appearance for appellee.
property seller appeals from the circuit court's final
judgment, which effectively awarded the seller's property
to the buyer on the basis that the seller failed to disclose
a recorded lien encumbering the property. The seller argues
that the buyer was on constructive notice of the recorded
lien, and that the circuit court's final judgment
improperly modified the parties' contract by allowing the
buyer to pay only a small portion of the property's
purchase price, while depriving the seller of the
property's full value and the agreed-upon interest to be
paid over time.
agree with the seller's arguments. While we respect the
circuit court's described motivation "to do equity
between the parties," the only legally proper result of
this action was to enter final judgment in the seller's
favor on both the buyer's complaint and the seller's
We present this opinion in three parts:
1. the circuit court's findings of fact;
2. the circuit court's conclusions of law; and
3. our review.
The Circuit Court's Findings of Fact
present the circuit court's findings of fact in the final
judgment to the extent such findings are supported by
competent, substantial evidence. See Acoustic
Innovations, Inc. v. Schafer, 976 So.2d 1139, 1143 (Fla.
4th DCA 2008) ("When a decision in a non-jury trial is
based on findings of fact from disputed evidence, it is
reviewed on appeal for competent, substantial
evidence."). Other record facts are included below where
necessary to provide a complete picture of the material
parties entered into an agreement for deed ("the
contract"). The contract provided that the buyer would
purchase the property from the seller for $85, 000 plus 10%
interest (later adjusted to 9%), to be paid with a $5, 000
down payment and monthly payments of $650 per month. The
contract further provided that upon the buyer making the
payments set forth above, the seller would deliver clear
title to the buyer. The contract required the buyer to pay