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J.V. Air Maintenance, Inc. v. Westwind Leasing, Corp.

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

September 25, 2019

J.V. Air Maintenance, Inc., etc., Appellant,
v.
Westwind Leasing, Corporation, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from a non-final order from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Mavel Ruiz, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 18-8051

          Goldstein & Company, and Jason Goldstein and Joshua Saval, for appellant.

          Aero Law Center, and Jonathan A. Ewing, Jennifer Castro, and Nada Alfaily (Fort Lauderdale), for appellee.

          Before FERNANDEZ, LOGUE, and LINDSEY, JJ.

          LOGUE, J.

         The appellant, J.V. Air Maintenance, Inc., seeks review of the trial court's order directing it to return an aircraft owned by Westwind Leasing Corporation to Westwind. J.V. Air filed suit to enforce its mechanic's lien on the subject aircraft. Because J.V. Air has retained possession of the aircraft beyond the three-month period authorized by section 85.011 of the Florida Statutes, we affirm.

         Facts

         J.V. Air performed maintenance work on an aircraft owned by Westwind. Westwind, however, found the bill for the repairs to be "grossly exaggerated" and refused to pay. As a result, J.V. refused to return the aircraft. Instead, J.V. filed a mechanic's lien against the aircraft and filed the subject lawsuit to foreclose its liens.[1] Westwind responded by filing a motion for return of the aircraft under section 85.011, Florida Statutes (2017). In its motion, Westwind argued that section 85.011 obligated J.V. to return the aircraft to Westwind after three months; the three months had expired; and Westwind was therefore entitled to regain possession. J.V. then served Westwind's counsel a notice of non-judicial sale, indicating its intent to sell the aircraft at public auction. The court entered orders canceling J.V.'s proposed non-judicial sale and directing J.V. to return the aircraft. J.V. appealed the latter order.

         Standard of Review

         We review the interpretation of a statute de novo. Kephart v. Hadi, 932 So.2d 1086, 1089 (Fla. 2006) ("The interpretation of a statute is a purely legal matter and therefore subject to the de novo standard of review.").

         Analysis

         The imposition and retention of mechanic's liens are governed by multiple statutes. In its complaint, J.V. plead that it seeks "to foreclose a lien under sections 713.58 and 329.51." Section 713.58 generally authorizes liens "[in] favor of persons performing labor or services for any other person, upon the personal property of the latter upon which the labor or services is performed, or which is used in the business, occupation, or employment in which the labor or services is performed." §713.58 (1), Fla. Stat. (2017).

         Section 329.51 specifically authorizes "[l]iens for labor, services, fuel or material expended upon aircraft." It sets conditions on when a lien under section ...


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