final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 19-2950 Valerie R. Manno Schurr, Judge.
A. Ivanor (Orlando), for appellant.
Dlin, in proper person.
SALTER, SCALES, and HENDON, JJ.
Pablo Dlin ("Husband") appeals from the trial
court's order denying his motion to dismiss Nayibe
Dlin's ("Wife") Verified Petition for
Dissolution filed in Miami-Dade County. As the Wife's
petition was filed in the improper venue, we reverse and
direct the lower court to transfer the case to Volusia
parties were married in 2015 and lived in Orange County,
Florida, for about three years. They moved to Volusia County,
Florida, and lived there for about three months before the
Wife relocated to Miami-Dade County in January 2019, fleeing
the Husband's domestic violence. She was granted a
temporary injunction against domestic violence in Miami-Dade
County. On February 7, 2019, the Wife filed her petition for
dissolution of marriage in Miami-Dade County, but the Husband
was not served until March 6, 2019. The Husband filed his
petition for dissolution of marriage in Volusia County on
February 22, 2019, in the interim between the Wife filing her
petition and serving the Husband. The Husband then sought to
dismiss the Wife's Miami-Dade petition based on improper
venue, and the Miami-Dade court denied his motion to dismiss
on May 7, 2019, and rendered the order on May 19, 2019. The
Husband timely appealed. The proceedings on the Husband's
petition for dissolution in Volusia County, however, went
forward. After a July 9, 2019, hearing on the Wife's
motion to dismiss the Husband's petition, the Volusia
County circuit court granted her motion, the Husband's
petition was dismissed, and the case was closed.
Husband now argues that, because he filed his petition first
in Volusia County before the Wife served him with her
petition in Miami-Dade County, venue is proper in Volusia
County. We find that venue was proper in Volusia County, but
not for the reason provided by the Husband.
standard of review for an order on a motion to transfer or
dismiss for improper venue is abuse of discretion. Carr
v. Stetson, 741 So.2d 567, 568 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999).
Venue is proper where the defendant is domiciled, where the
cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation
is located. § 47.011, Fla. Stat. (2018). "In a
dissolution of marriage action, the trial court is to look to
the single county where 'the intact marriage was last
evidenced by a continuing union of partners who intended to
remain and to remain married, indefinitely if not
permanently.'" Crawford v. Crawford, 415
So.2d 870, 870 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982) (citing Carroll v.
Carroll, 341 So.2d 771, 772 (Fla. 1977)).
the parties have filed competing petitions for dissolution in
different counties, at different times, and with different
procedural outcomes. There are an abundance of cases in
Florida, however, holding that a cause of action for
dissolution accrues, for purposes of applying the venue
statute, in the single county where the parties last lived
together with a common intent to remain married.
See, e.g. Bowman v. Bowman, 597 So.2d 399
(Fla. 1st DCA 1992). This is true even when one spouse moves
to another county to escape the marriage, the situation
presented in the facts before us. See Hoskins v.
Hoskins, 363 So.2d 179, 181 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978) (holding
that the last place where the parties resided together was
Polk County and under the holding in Carroll, venue
should be in Polk County, despite the wife having moved to
live in another county); see also Butler v. Butler,
866 So.2d 1280, 1281 (Fla 4th DCA. 2004) (holding that, since
the parties last resided together with the intent to be
married in Brevard County as the last place where an intact
marriage existed, then wife is not entitled to elect to file
in Broward County simply based on her statement of intent
which is contrary to the manifest weight of the undisputed
evidence that Brevard County was their "home").
time the Wife filed her dissolution petition in Miami-Dade
County, venue for dissolution purposes was proper in Volusia
County, where the parties were last domiciled together,
albeit for three months, and where the Husband currently
remains. When the Husband filed his dissolution petition,
venue was proper in Volusia County pursuant to the venue
statute. It does not matter for application of the venue
statute that the Wife moved to Miami-Dade to escape domestic
violence. The complication here is that the Miami-Dade County
circuit court incorrectly found venue was proper in
Miami-Dade by denying the Husband's motion to dismiss the
Wife's petition, while many weeks later, the
Husband's dissolution action, which was correctly-filed
in Volusia County, was dismissed and the case closed. We have
no record of the hearings in either the Miami-Dade or Volusia
cases, and cannot know the reasoning behind either order. We
must apply the statute and case law to the facts at hand.
See Vinsand v. Vinsand, 179 So.3d 366 (Fla. 2d DCA
2015) (finding no competent substantial evidence to support a
conclusion that venue is proper in the county where the wife
currently lives, where the last place the parties lived
together in common is where the husband resides), citing
Rivenbark v. Rivenbark 335 So.2d 23 (Fla. 1st DCA
"[i]f there is no legal basis to support the
plaintiff's [Wife's] choice of venue, the trial court
must dismiss the case or transfer it to a forum that is
authorized under the applicable venue statute." Host
Marriott Tollroads, Inc. v. Petrol Enters., Inc., 810
So.2d 1086, 1089-90 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). We are thus
constrained to reverse and remand for transfer of the
Wife's dissolution ...