3d DCA Watch — The State of Miami, Turning Basins, And Scrivener’s Errors

Yes kiddies it’s that time again, so let’s dig right into that wacky, wild and wonderful place, yes you got it — 3d DCA land:

Lanoue v. Rizk:

Let me ask you, do you see anything wrong with this choice of law provision:

“This Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the State of Miami.”

No, me neither. But some nutty debtor apparently had a problem with it, arguing that there is no such place as the “State of Miami” and therefore only Ontario law could apply. What a kook!Judge Cope put him in his place, though, trotting out that old warhorse, the sloppy scrivener:

As an initial matter we agree with the trial court that the common sense reading of the choice of law provision in the security agreement meant the Province of Ontario and the State of Florida, not the “State of Miami”. . . . the reference to the “State of Miami” was a scrivener’s error and should have been the State of Florida.

The rest of the opinion got exceedingly dull so I stopped reading.

Hill v. Deering Bay:

Let me summarize — a bunch of ultra rich people fighting over dock space and turning basin rights for their yachts. Where’s Judge Schwartz and his ticky-tacky dicta when you need him?Anyway, to read the opinion, this is a pretty clear cut case of reading a contract and ruling accordingly. Maybe Judge Friedman was trying too hard to split the baby, as the Third affirmed the judge on all points but reversed as to the one item he went the other way on:

We do, however, find that the trial court erred in concluding that Deering Bay could impose a $3 per linear foot per night fee on Kings Bay homeowners for using the temporary dock. As with the $500 annual fee to use the boat ramp, the Appler agreement confers no authority on Deering Bay to impose a fee for using the temporary dock—a fact conceded by Deering Bay in its written closing argument below. The contracts at issue here are clear and unambiguous and require no interpretation.

Good day, sir. I said good day!