IN THE CIRCUIT COURT
FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA
SOUTHERN GROUP INDEMNITY, INC.,
vs. Appeal No. 01-2918-CI-88A
Opinion filed ________________________
Appeal from final judgment
Pinellas County Court, Small Claims Division,
The Honorable Stephen O. Rushing
Emory Wood, Esquire
5015 4th Street North, Suite A
St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Attorney for Appellant
J. Dowling, Esquire
1150 Tampa Road\
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Attorney for Appellee
THIS CAUSE came before the Court on appeal, filed by Southern Group Indemnity, Inc. (Appellant), from the Judgment for Plaintiff on Issue of Insurance Coverage (Judgment), entered on March 13, 2001, which granted the Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the issue of liability at the pre-trial conference. Upon review of the record and the briefs and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, the Judgment entered by the lower court is affirmed.
The lower court’s detailed Judgment establishes that there were no issues of material fact between the parties and the Appellant does contest this finding in its appeal. However, the Appellant asserts that, as a matter of law, the Appellee was not entitled to summary judgment.
In reviewing the record de novo, the Court finds that the lower court did apply the correct legal analysis in granting the Appellee summary judgment. See Continental Concrete v. Lakes at La Paz III Limited Partnership, 758 So.2d 1214, 1217 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000)(stating that appellate court applies the de novo standard of review when reviewing trial court’s decision granting motion for summary judgment, which is based on legal, not factual issues).
The only issue this Court would clarify is the applicability of the general rule in computing time; that is, the first day on which the initial act occurred is excluded and the last day, or corresponding future date, is included. See Zentmeyer v. Ford Motor Company, Inc., 464 So.2d 673, 673 (Fla. 5th DCA 1985)(citations omitted); see also Silvernail v. American Fire and Casualty Company, 80 So.2d 707, 708 (Fla. 1955)(citations omitted). Since the three option letter stated, “you may take no action and your policy will be canceled on 11/22/97…” the Appellee was necessarily covered under his insurance policy the day of the accident, November 22, 1997. See id., see also Young v. Young, 12 So.2d 885, 886 (Fla. 1943)(finding that in computing time, intervening period is not mature until midnight of the last day). Furthermore, any ambiguity in the time of day that the policy would lapse on November 22, 1997, must be construed in favor of the insured. See Pike v. National Fidelity Life Insurance Company, 377 So.2d 973, 976 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979)(stating that any ambiguity or contradiction in an insurer’s multiple requests for payment or notices of cancellation must be resolved against the company).
Therefore, it is
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Judgment for Plaintiff on Issue of Insurance Coverage is affirmed. It is further
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Appellee’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs on Appeal is granted. The lower court shall determine the reasonable amount of appellate attorney’s fees and costs to be awarded to the Appellee.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this 4th day of September 2001.
NANCY MOATE LEY
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division
Copies Furnished To:
The Honorable Stephen O. Rushing
J. Emory Wood, Esquire
James J. Dowling, Esquire
Staff Attorney, Appellate Division