NOTICE:  THIS OPINION IS SUBJECT TO REVISION OR WITHDRAWAL

UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING OR FURTHER APPELLATE

REVIEW AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

 

County Civil Court:  PRESERVATION OF ERROR – no issues framed for review – court cannot pass on issues that are not properly presented for review - -record supports the trial court’s finding that there was not a valid contract – no transcript of the hearing supports affirmance of the trial court’s ruling – Final Judgment affirmed.  Hanna v. Woods, Appeal No. 07-0020AP-88A (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. Dec.  21, 2007). 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

KAMEEL HANNA,

                        Appellant,

vs.                                                                                    Appeal No. 07-0020AP-88A

                                                                                        UCN522007AP000020XXXXCV

KUWAUN G. WOODS,

                        Appellee.

______________________________________/

Appeal from Pinellas County Court

Small Claims Division

 

John A. Smitten, Esquire

Attorney for Appellant

 

Kuwaun G. Woods

Appellee, pro se

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

            THIS CAUSE came before the Court on appeal, filed by Kameel Hanna (Hanna), from the Final Judgment, entered March 26, 2007, in favor of Kuwaun G. Woods (Woods).  Upon review of the briefs, the record and being otherwise fully advised, the Court affirms the trial court’s ruling as set forth below.

            On December 5, 2006, Woods filed a State of Claim against Hanna, in Small Claims Court, seeking money owed in the amount of $ 4,877.00, plus costs, interest, and attorney’s fees, related to the sale of a 1999 Dodge Conversion Van.  The record shows that Hanna was the registered agent for Best Vehicles Auto Sales, Inc. (Best Vehicles), and the individual that sold the Dodge Van to Woods.  The day after Woods purchased the vehicle, the engine blocked cracked resulting in almost $ 5,000.00 in labor and parts to fix. 

Hanna filed an Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses arguing that Hanna was the wrong defendant as the contracts, documentation, and bill of sale all indicated that Woods purchased the vehicle from Best Vehicles.  Hanna also filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that Hanna was not the correct defendant.  The matter was tried without a jury on March 26, 2007.  After hearing the testimony of the parties and considering the evidence presented, the trial court entered Final Judgment in favor of Woods in the sum of $ 4,468.55, plus costs and interest.  The trial court specifically found that there was not a valid written contract between Best Vehicles and Woods, such that there was no corporate veil to pierce and Hanna was the proper defendant. 

Before this Court, Hanna, who is represented by counsel, does not frame any issues for review.  In reading the entirety of Hanna’s two-sentence argument, it appears that Hanna is arguing that the trial court erred in entering Final Judgment against Hanna without finding that the corporate veil had been pierced.  As the Final Judgment is premised on a breach of contract, the standard of review to be applied is de novo.  See Syvrud v. Today Real Estate, Inc., 858 So.2d 1125, 1129 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003).

As a preliminary matter, Hanna’s brief does not substantially conform to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The Court directed Hanna to file an Amended Initial Brief in compliance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 9.210(b).[1]  Hanna filed the same Initial Brief, simply adding the words “(Amended)” to the title.  As stated above, Hanna fails to set forth any issues and does not cite to the record on appeal.  The Court is not authorized to pass on issues other than those properly presented on appeal.  See Lightsee v. First National Bank of Melbourne, 132 So.2d 776, 778 (Fla. 2d DCA 1961); see also Urban v. City of Dayton Beach, 101 So.2d 414, 417 (Fla. 1st DCA 1958)(explaining that reviewing courts will not comb record in search of error or grounds for reversal of trial court’s ruling).

Further, Hanna does not dispute that trial court’s finding that there was not a valid contract between the Woods and Best Vehicles.  Hanna does not dispute that trial court’s ruling that Hanna, in his individual capacity, sold the Dodge Ram to Woods.  Hanna does not dispute the amount of damages awarded.  None of the cases cited by Hanna support his seeming argument that the trial court is precluded from finding a defendant individually liable when there is not a valid contract and the seller is acting in his individual capacity, not as an agent of the corporation.  Under these facts, the Court finds that the Final Judgment must be affirmed, particularly since there is no transcript of the proceedings.  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).  Therefore, it is,

ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Final Judgment is affirmed. 

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this ______ of December 2007.

 

 

                                                     ________________________________

                                                     R. TIMOTHY PETERS

                                                     Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

 

______________________________                        ______________________________

GEORGE M. JIROTKA                                          CYNTHIA J. NEWTON

Circuit Judge, Appellate Division                               Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

Copies furnished to:

 

Honorable Myra Scott McNary

County Court Judge

 

John A. Smitten, Esquire

1173 N.E. Cleveland Street

Clearwater, FL  33755

 

Kuwaun G. Woods

3606 Harvest Orchard

Plant City, FL 33567



[1]  Woods, likewise, failed to file an Answer Brief, even after being directed to do so.  Nonetheless, the Court must still review the merits of Hanna’s appeal.  See e.g. State, Board of Optometry v. Florida Society of Opthalmology, 538 So.2d 878, 888 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988)(explaining that appellate court must review case on the merits even when no answer brief is filed).