Petitions for Writs of Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto, or Habeas Corpus:APPELLATE PROCEDURE - Appealability/Improper Relief - Petition for Writ of Prohibition was an inappropriate collateral challenge to Small Claims Courtís exercise of jurisdiction where direct appeal based on Small Claims Courtís lack of jurisdiction was currently pending.Petitioner had not sought less extraordinary relief to prevent Small Claims Court from entertaining fee petition.Petition denied.Daniel LaSalla v. Pools By George of Pinellas County, Inc., No. 10-000012AP-88B (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. March 12, 2010).

 

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

 

DANIEL LASALLA,

††††††††††††††††† Petitioner,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

vs.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ref. No.:10-000012AP-88B††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† UCN:522010AP000012XXXXCV

POOLS BY GEORGE OF

PINELLAS COUNTY, INC.,

††††††††††††††††† Respondent.

______________________________/

 

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF PROHIBITION

 

††††††††††† THIS CAUSE is before the Court on the Petition for Writ of Prohibition filed by Petitioner Daniel LaSalla on March 2, 2010, seeking to prevent the Honorable Edwin B. Jagger, Pinellas County Court Judge, from entering any further orders and judgments in the underlying Small Claims Court action, Case No. 06-006095SC 046.More specifically, Petitioner seeks a Writ prohibiting Judge Jagger from entertaining a fee petition filed by Respondent Pools by George of Pinellas County, Inc. (ďPBGĒ), and noticed for hearing on March 15, 2010.Upon review and consideration, the Court finds that the Petition must be denied.

††††††††††† Respondent PBG filed a two-count complaint in Small Claims Court seeking to foreclose a construction lien, to which LaSalla asserted a counterclaim and affirmative defenses.The action proceeded to trial on June 9, 2009, and the Honorable Edwin B. Jagger entered Final Judgment in favor of PBG on August 4, 2009.LaSalla, through current counsel, filed a Motion to Set Aside Final Judgment, arguing that the Final Judgment is void because the Small Claims Court lacks equity jurisdiction and thus lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the lien foreclosure claim.The Court denied the Motion by Order dated December 18, 2009.LaSalla filed a Motion for Rehearing, which the Court denied on January 11, 2010.PBG filed Plaintiffís Amended Motion to Tax Attorney Fees and Costs, and Assess Prejudgment Interest and scheduled a hearing on March 15, 2010.

††††††††††† On January 21, 2010, LaSalla appealed the Courtís January 11, 2010,[1] Order Denying Defendantís Motion to Set Aside Final Judgment Notice.His appeal, Case No. 10-000003AP-88A, remains pending.

By the instant petition, LaSalla again argues that the Small Claims Court is wholly without subject matter jurisdiction over this action and thus has no jurisdiction to entertain the pending Motion for fees, award fees, or enter any further orders or judgments.He contends that Prohibition is the appropriate remedy to prevent the Small Claims Court from acting in the absence of subject matter jurisdiction and that he has no adequate remedy on appeal.

The Circuit Court is authorized to enter Writs of Prohibition under Rule 9.030h(c)(3) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.

 

Prohibition is an extraordinary writ, a prerogative writ, extremely narrow in scope and operation, by which a superior court, having appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over an inferior court or tribunal possessing judicial or quasi-judicial power, may prevent such inferior court or tribunal from exceeding jurisdiction or usurping jurisdiction over matters not within its jurisdiction.

English v. McCrary, 348 So. 2d 293, 296 (Fla. 1977).While Prohibition lies to prevent an inferior tribunal from acting in excess of jurisdiction, it does not to prevent an erroneous exercise of jurisdiction. Id. at 297 (citing Burkhart v. Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 146 Fla. 457 (1941)).
††††††††††† Contrary to LaSallaís contention that he has no adequate remedy on appeal, his objection to the Small Claims Courtís exercise of jurisdiction is currently pending appeal.This Court will not consider the exact same issue raised collaterally by the instant petition.Moreover, there is no indication that Petitioner has sought less extraordinary relief, such as requesting a Stay of proceedings by the Small Claims Court pending resolution of the matter on appeal or a continuance of the fee hearing.Under these circumstances, Petitioner has failed to demonstrate that a writ of prohibition is appropriate or necessary.

 

Accordingly, it is

†††††††††††

††††††††††† ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Petition for Writ of Prohibition is DENIED.

††††††††††† DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, this 12th day of March 2010.

Original order entered on March 12, 2010 by Circuit Judges Amy M. Williams,

Peter Ramsberger, and Pamela A.M. Campbell.

 

 

 

Copies furnished to:

 

THE HONORABLE EDWIN JAGGER

Pinellas County Judge

St. Petersburg Judicial Building

545 1st Avenue North
St. Petersburg
, FL 33701

 

COURTNEY L. FISH, ESQUIRE

LEONARD S. ENGLANDER, ESQUIRE

Englander & Fischer, P.A.

P.O. Box 1954

St. Petersburg, FL 33731

Attorney for the Petitioner

 

THOMAS DANDAR, ESQUIRE

Dandar & Dandar, P.A.

P.O. Box 24597

Tampa, FL 33623

Attorney for Respondent



††††††† [1]The Notice of Appeal erroneously refers to the date the Order was rendered as January 11, 2009.