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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Florida

In Florida, a significant number of civil cases are disputes regarding contractual agreements or property rights. Cases involving contractual agreements are resolved based on the state's contract laws, while property matters are adjudicated under property law. Circuit Courts and County Courts handle both contract disputes and property disputes in the state.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in Florida?

A contract is an agreement between two parties often spoken or written down.

Contracts established based on definitions of a valid contract by Florida's statutes are subject to the legal authority of the state judiciary. Pursuant to the state statutes, the elements of a valid contract include:

  • Legal purpose: the purpose of the contract must be authorized by law
  • Mutual agreement: it means there are an offer and an acceptance
  • Consideration: Each party agrees to give up something of value to gain a benefit
  • Competent parties: persons involved in the contract must be sound and proper persons. Disputes, where parties with ongoing mental challenges, or under the influence of drugs/alcohol are involved, can invalidate the contract.
  • True consent: this means that an agreement was reached without coercion of any of the parties

Given the above, a contractual dispute in Florida refers to a disagreement between two or more parties regarding the terms and conditions of the contract or any conflict following the failure of a party to fulfill their role as part of a legal contract. The dispute may be regarding the deadline for service delivery, the quality of services delivered, paying the agreed value for services offered, etc.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Florida?

Some of the most frequently reported contact disputes in Florida include;

  • Partnership disputes: arising from disagreements regarding the best interest of each party.
  • Breach of contract: this is the failure of one of the parties to fulfill their part of the agreement
  • Business to Business contracts
  • Severance agreements
  • Leases
  • Agreements on commercial loans
  • Purchase and sale contracts
  • Insurance contracts

What is Florida Contract Law?

Contract law is a component of Florida law that deals with agreements between persons or organizations. Under Florida statutes, a breach of contract can be heard by the state's civil courts. Cases with claims lower than $15,000 are usually registered with County Courts, while those with higher claims are filed with the Circuit Courts, which are also known as the courts of general jurisdiction. At the court, specialist attorneys in contract law and a judge handle the case and decide the most appropriate course of action.

What is a Breach of Contract in Florida?

A breach of contract by Florida statutes is the failure of a party to fulfill their obligations of a contract. A breach of contract could be material or immaterial. A material breach of contract occurs when the type of breach will lead to the invalidation of the contract. Immaterial breaches are failures on the part of one party that do not lead to a dissolution of a contract.

Note that a breach of contract dispute cannot be resolved by the court authority if there is no formal documentation of the contract. For a breach to be established, the following features must be present:

  • A valid contract
  • A material breach
  • Evidence that the breach caused the injured party damages

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Florida?

The state laws provide for three possible remedies for a breach of contract:

  • Damages: refer to some form of payment to the injured party. Damages may be:
    • Compensatory- put the injured party in the expected position had the breach not occurred.
    • Punitive- seeks to punish the breaching party to ensure full compensation for the injured party.
    • Liquidation- activates damages already foreseen and agreed upon by the involved parties in the event of a breach.
    • Nominal- a token compensation in cases that did not lead to an actual loss of money
    • Specific performance: the court may rule to enforce the contract by ordering the breaching party to satisfy the injured party
  • Cancellation and Restitution: both terms often go hand in hand. Cancellations happen when the non-breaching party decides to annul the contract. The next step is usually to file for restitution, especially if the breaching party has been given a benefit based on contract terms. Cancellation frees both parties from all obligations to the agreement.
  • Rescission: this is a nullification of the contract by a non-breaching party who has not suffered any monetary damages.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Florida?

A primary way to hold up a defense against a breach of contract claim is to identify any detail or event that invalidates the contract. Some of them are:

  • Fraudulent intentions
  • The incompetence of the breaching party abinitio
  • The illegality of the contract
  • Bilateral mistakes
  • Consent under duress
  • The contract does not comply with the "statute of Frauds" under the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Unconscionable contract ( where the contract is uneven in benefits to both parties)

What are Property Disputes in Florida?

Property disputes refer to conflicts regarding land and owned property. The property may be human-made or natural, and disputes may border on ownership or damage. Title XL of Florida statutes governs land and property matters in the state.

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Florida?

Some of the most frequently filed property disputes in Florida include:

  • Conflicts over boundaries
  • Disagreement over ownership of property
  • Fraudulent practices regarding land and landed property.
  • Contest over the title of a property
  • Contentions over transferred inheritance and interpretation of wills

How to Find Property Lines

Property lines provide demarcations between adjoining property. In Florida, surveyors help to find these lines and install distinctive boundaries for their clients. Alternatively, neighbors can prepare a lot-line agreement and put it in force by signing deeds that give a clear description of the property and boundary lines.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near Me?

To find a property dispute lawyer in Florida, consider using free online directories. While most attorneys offer services for a fee to persons needing assistance regarding property disputes in Florida, specialized property dispute lawyers often operate a dedicated website which usually feature their full contact information as well as client reviews. In addition, the Florida Courts Website provides referrals to persons seeking to make consultations on legal matters at a lower price.

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