County Civil Court: APPELLATE PROCEDURE – Preservation of Error – no transcript - Appellants/Buyers are unable to demonstrate that trial court erred in entering judgment in favor of Appellees/Sellers for the return of earnest money - Final Judgment affirmed. Long Qin Lu v. Stewart Title of Pinellas, Inc., Appeal No. 05-0061AP-88B (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. June 30, 2006). 

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

LONG QIN LU and XIAO FENG ZHENG,

                                    Appellants,

vs.                                                                                    Appeal No.05-0061AP-88B

                                                                                         UCN522005AP000061XXXXCV

STEWART TITLE OF PINELLAS, INC.,

JOHN C. SHUBERT, JR., and LISA SHUBERT,

                                    Appellees.

________________________________________/

Appeal from Final Judgment

Pinellas County Court

Judge Henry J. Andringa

 

 

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

            THIS CAUSE came before the Court on appeal, filed by Long Qin Lu and Xiao Feng Zheng, from the Final Judgment, entered July 8, 2005, in favor of Stewart Title of Pinellas, Inc., John C. Shubert, Jr., and Lisa Shubert.  Upon review of the Initial Brief,[1] the record and being otherwise fully advised, the Court affirms the trial court’s ruling as set forth below.

            The record shows that on September 13, 2004, Stewart Title filed a Complaint for Interpleader to determine the rights of John C. Shubert, Lisa Shubert (Sellers), Long Qin Lu, and Xias Fung Zheng (Buyers), after a dispute arose under a contract to purchase real property.  Both the Sellers and the Buyers sought the return of $ 2,000.00, earnest money held in escrow by Stewart Title.   The Buyers answered the complaint and filed a cross-claim again the Sellers arguing that the contract was unenforceable due to material changes made by the Sellers, numerous property deficiencies, and the Buyers inability to obtain financing.  The Sellers answered the complaint and filed a response to the Buyers’ cross-claim arguing that they were entitled to the $ 2,000.00, as the Buyers had accepted the terms of the contract and were approved for financing.  After a trial, the lower court entered Final Judgment in favor of the Sellers.

            On appeal, the Appellants argue that the trial court erred in entering judgment in favor of the Sellers.  In reviewing this issue, the trial court’s interpretation of a contract is a matter of law subject to a de novo standard of review.  See Jenkins v. Eckerd Corporation, 913 So.2d 43, 49 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005).  However, even with a de novo review, the Court finds that the Buyers are unable to demonstrate reversible error as there is no transcript of the proceedings below.  See Applegate v. Barnett Bank of Tallahassee, 377 So.2d 1150, 1152 (Fla. 1979)(stating that the decision of the trial court has the presumption of correctness and the burden is on the appellant to demonstrate error); Bei v. Harper, 475 So.2d 912, 914 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985)(same).  Therefore, it is,

            ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Final Judgment is affirmed.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida this ______ of June 2006.

 

 

                                                ______________________________

                                                DAVID A. DEMERS

                                                Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

 

 

_____________________________                          _____________________________

PETER RAMSBERGER                                          ANTHONY RONDOLINO

Circuit Judge, Appellate Division                                   Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

Copies furnished to:

 

Judge Henry J. Andringa

 

Long Qin Lu and Xiao Feng Zheng

1300 Woodcrest Avenue

Safety Harbor, FL  34695

 

John and Lisa Shubert

1490 – 47th Avenue North

St. Petersburg, FL  33713

 

Richard M. Georges, Esquire

Post Office Box 14545

St. Petersburg, FL  33733



[1] The Appellees failed to file an Answer Brief.