County Civil Court: CONTRACTS – summary judgment – work contracted by contractor outside the scope of its licenses rendered entire contract unenforceable pursuant to Florida Statutes, § 489.128 – no authority that a contract is severable under § 489.128 for the purpose of enforcing only those parts that are performed under a valid license or that a contractor can collect on its contract by reducing its claim by the amount of work which exceeded the scope of its license  - Summary Judgment affirmed.  AAA Services of Central Florida, Inc. v. Keith, No. 05-0011AP-88A (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. Dec. 16, 2005). 

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

AAA SERVICES OF

CENTRAL FLORIDA, INC.,

                        Appellant,

 

vs.                                                                                               Appeal No. 05-0011AP-88A

                                                                                                   UCN522005AP000011XXXXCV

 

SUSAN KEITH,

                        Appellee.

_________________________________________/

 

Appeal from Summary Judgment

Pinellas County Court

Judge Karl B. Grube

 

Andrea M. Fair, Esquire

Attorney for Appellant

 

Leslie M. Conklin, Esquire

Attorney for Appellee

 

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

            THIS CAUSE came before the Court on appeal, filed by AAA Services of Central Florida, Inc. (Contractor), from the Order Denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to Liability and Granting Defendant’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment,[1] entered August 30, 2004, in favor of Susan Keith (Owner), and the Order Granting Defendant’s Amended Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees and Court Costs, entered November 10, 2004.  Upon review of the briefs, the record and being otherwise fully advised, the Court finds that the trial court properly applied Florida Statute, § 489.128, to the undisputed facts of this case, as set forth in the trial court’s Order, in concluding that work contracted by the Contractor outside the scope of its licenses rendered the entire contract unenforceable.  See Florida Statutes,

§ 489.128(2)(stating that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if a contract is rendered unenforceable under this section, no lien or bond claim shall exist in favor of the unlicensed contractor for any labor, services, or materials provided under the contract or any amendment thereto”); see also Deep South Systems, Inc. v. Heath, 843 So.2d 378, 381 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003)(finding that contracts entered into between contractor and roofer for the performance of roofing-related work were unenforceable where roofer was not a licensed contractor); Sterner v. Phillips, 721 So.2d 450, 452-53 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998)(holding that tenant who entered into agreement with landlord to renovate property was a “contractor,” within meaning of section 489.128 providing that contract performed by unlicensed contractor was unenforceable); Castro v. Sangles, 637 So.2d 989, 990 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994)(concluding that homeowner’s action against unlicensed contractor for breach of agreement to build house was barred by section 489.128). 

            The Court finds that there is no authority that a contract is severable under § 489.128 for the purpose of enforcing only those parts that are performed under a valid license or that a contractor can collect on its contract by reducing its claim by the amount of work which exceeded the scope of its license. 

            Therefore, it is,

            ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Order Denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to Liability and Granting Defendant’s Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and the Order Granting Defendant’s Amended Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees and Court Costs are affirmed. 

            It is further

           

 

            ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Appellee’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees is granted and the Appellant’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees is denied.  The trial court shall determine the amount of reasonable appellate attorney’s fees to be awarded to the Appellee.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this ________ day of December 2005.

 

 

                                                _______________________________

                                                JOHN A. SCHAEFER

                                                Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

 

 

_______________________________                                  ______________________________

LAUREN C. LAUGHLIN                                                     JAMES R. CASE

Circuit Judge, Appellate Division                                               Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

 

 

Copies furnished to:

 

Judge Karl B. Grube

 

Andrea M. Fair, Esquire

400 North Tampa Street, Suite 2625

Tampa, FL  33602

 

Leslie M. Conklin, Esquire

1465 South Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 202

Clearwater, FL  33756                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               



[1] Neither party disputes that this order is final for purposes of appeal.