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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 475
REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALES ASSOCIATES, SCHOOLS, AND APPRAISERS
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F.S. 475.713
475.713 Civil action concerning commission; order to show cause; hearing; release of proceeds; award of costs and attorney’s fees.
(1) If a commission notice claiming a commission is delivered to an owner pursuant to s. 475.705 and the owner disputes the claimed commission, the owner or the broker may file a civil action concerning the commission claim in the county court or circuit court, whichever has jurisdiction of controversies in the amount of the claimed commission, of the county where the commercial real estate or a portion of the commercial real estate is located.
(2) In a civil action by the owner, at the time the summons is issued or at any time before the complaint is answered by the broker, the owner may apply to the court for an order directing the broker to appear before the court at a time not earlier than 7 days or later than 15 days after the date of service of the motion and order on the broker to show cause why the commission claim should not be dismissed. The motion must state the grounds upon which relief is sought and must be supported by the affidavit of the owner setting forth a concise statement of the facts upon which the motion is based. The order to show cause shall clearly state that if the broker fails to appear at the time and place specified in the order, the broker’s claim of lien against the owner’s net proceeds under this part shall be released, with prejudice, and the broker shall be ordered to pay the costs incurred by the owner and the closing agent, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(3) The court shall issue an order releasing the broker’s claim of lien against the owner’s net proceeds from such disposition, discharging any commission notice that may have been recorded, ordering the release to the owner of the disputed reserved proceeds, and awarding costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to the owner to be paid by the broker if, following a hearing, the court determines that the owner is not a party to a brokerage agreement that will result in the owner being obligated to pay the broker the claimed commission or any portion thereof with respect to the disposition of the commercial real estate identified in the commission notice. If the court determines that the owner is a party to a brokerage agreement that will result in the owner being obligated to pay the broker the claimed commission or any portion thereof with respect to the disposition of the commercial real estate identified in the commission notice, the court shall issue an order so stating, ordering the release to the broker of the disputed reserved proceeds or such portion thereof to which the court determines that the broker is entitled, and awarding costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to the broker to be paid by the owner. Such orders are final judgments.
(4) A certified copy of any order issued by the court pursuant to subsection (3) discharging a recorded commission notice shall be recorded at the expense of the broker in the public records where the commission notice was recorded, and such order shall operate as a cancellation of the recorded commission notice.
(5)(a) In a civil action commenced by the owner or the broker under this section or in an interpleader action or other proceeding commenced by the closing agent under s. 475.711, the owner or the broker that is not the prevailing party shall be required to pay:
1. The costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the action by the prevailing party.
2. The costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the action by the closing agent.
3. The amount of any costs, recording charges, and service charges of the clerk of court that were deducted from the disputed reserved proceeds under s. 475.711(2) in determining the net amount thereof deposited into the registry of the court.
(b) If the court determines that neither the owner nor the broker is the prevailing party, the amounts set forth in subparagraphs (a)2. and 3. shall be divided equally between and paid by the owner and the broker.
(6) Proceedings conducted pursuant to this section shall not affect rights and remedies otherwise available to the owner or the broker under other applicable law.
History.s. 1, ch. 2005-275; s. 56, ch. 2006-1; s. 13, ch. 2006-210.