Jesus A. Rios, Appellant,
Maribel Quiala, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 16-1321, Sarah I. Zabel, Judge.
Offices of Perez-Ceballos, and Raul Perez-Ceballos, for
Schindler & Sandberg LLP, Neal L. Sandberg and Sherryll
Martens Dunaj, for appellee.
SALTER, MILLER and GORDO, JJ.
Rios ("the Husband") appeals the lower court's
Order Granting Respondent's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment and the later Final Judgment of Dissolution of
Marriage rendered in favor of Maribel Quiala ("the
Wife"). We affirm.
Husband petitioned for dissolution of marriage seeking
equitable distribution of marital assets and a partition of
the couple's Miami Beach property ("the
Property") in 2014. In 2004, the Husband signed and
delivered a quitclaim deed to the Wife receiving $80, 000 in
consideration for his right, title and interest in the
Property, including his equitable rights and future profits.
The quitclaim deed was executed contemporaneously with a
written agreement signed by the parties, which memorialized
the Husband's receipt of $80, 000 in exchange for his
interest in the Property. The Husband cashed-out his interest
in the marital home because he wished to use the money for
his own separate purposes such as investing in the stock
seeking equitable distribution and a partition of the
Property, the Husband asserted the residence was still
marital property. The Wife contended the contract
extinguished any claim by the Husband in the Property, and
she was thus the sole owner of the Property and entitled to
unequal equitable distribution. The Wife filed a Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment and Amended Affidavit along with the
quitclaim deed, check for $80, 000 and the written agreement
by the parties. The Husband filed a Motion in Opposition to
Partial Summary Judgment and an Amended Affidavit wherein he
acknowledged signing the quitclaim deed and receiving $80,
000 in exchange for his interest in the Property.
considering the evidence in the record and conducting a
hearing on the partial summary judgment motion, the trial
court ruled the transaction was a clear and unambiguous
enforceable contract. The court found there were no genuine
issues of material fact as to any of the following: (1) the
Husband executed and delivered a quitclaim deed to the Wife
conveying his entire interest in the Property, (2) the Wife
paid the Husband $80, 000, which was evidenced and
acknowledged by the notarized written agreement, and (3)
after the conveyance the Wife maintained the Property
exclusively from her own earnings. The trial court granted
the Wife's motion.
the case proceeded to a day-long trial. The court entered
Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage and incorporated
its summary judgment order transferring all of the
Husband's interest in the Property to the Wife. This
review the trial court's ruling on the motion for partial
summary judgment de novo. Volusia Cty. v. Aberdeen at
Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So.2d 126, 130 (Fla. 2000).
Based on the record before us, we conclude Appellant has
failed to meet his burden of establishing there remained any
genuine issues of material fact regarding the contract.
record reveals the trial court appropriately evaluated the
evidence in light of applicable contract law. See Boyle
v. Schmitt, 552 So.2d 1158, 1160 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989)
("[G]eneral principles of contract law apply to
contracts between spouses . . . ."). "The law is
well established that two or more documents executed by the
same parties, at or near the same time, and concerning the
same transaction or subject matter are generally construed
together as a single contract." Citicorp Real
Estate, Inc. v. Ameripalms 6B GP, Inc., 633 So.2d 47, 49
(Fla. 3d DCA 1994) (citations omitted). "Where contracts
are clear and unambiguous, they should be construed as
written, and the court can give them no other meaning."
Gulliver Sch., Inc. v. Snay, 137 So.3d 1045, 1047
(Fla. 3d DCA 2014) (quoting Khosrow Maleki, P.A. v. M.A.
Hajianpour, M.D., P.A., 771 So.2d 628, 631 (Fla. 4th DCA
2000)). Courts "may not substitute their judgment for
that of the parties in order to relieve one from an alleged
hardship of an improvident bargain." Int'l
Expositions, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach, 274 So.2d 29,
30-31 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973).
we find no basis to conclude the trial court committed
reversible error as to its entry of final judgment following
a one-day trial on the remaining issues in dispute. "The
trial court's order comes to us clothed with a
presumption of correctness, and Appellant has failed to
overcome this presumption or establish any error of law
apparent on the face of the final judgment."
Alvarado v. Dep't of Revenue ex rel. Alvarado,
194 So.3d 544, 545 n.2 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016) (citations
omitted). While the Husband argues the trial record lacked
competent, substantial evidence to support the trial
court's findings, the Husband has failed to furnish a
transcript of the trial proceedings for our review.
"Without a record of the trial proceedings, [we] can not
properly resolve the ...