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Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District
May 14, 1974
[*332] Appellant, plaintiff in the trial court, seeks review of an adverse final judgment entered pursuant to defendant-appellees' motion for a directed verdict in this action to recover compensatory and punitive damages for conversion.
The undisputed facts in brief are as follows:
At approximately 11:00 p.m. on the night of December 22 or 23, 1967, plaintiff-appellant, Robert F. Murrell, drove to the Village Apartments to make a social call on a friend who was an occupant thereof. Being unable to find a marked parking place, plaintiff parked his automobile between two other autos in an unmarked area on the side of one of the private connecting drives of the apartment complex parking lot. 1 While visiting with his friend, Mr. Murrell was informed that his car was towed away by Trio Towing Service, Inc. Upon inquiry, the managers of the apartments admitted that they had authorized the towing of plaintiff's vehicle. The following day appellant demanded return thereof from Trio Towing [**2] which thereupon advised him that he had to pay $15 for towing and storage to regain possession. Plaintiff refused to pay and Trio declined to relinquish control of the subject automobile despite an oral and written demand therefor from Mr. Murrell's attorney. Subsequent thereto, plaintiff filed this action for conversion and named as defendants Mr. and Mrs. Tate and Mr. and Mrs. Denison, owners of the apartment complex, Trio Towing Service, Inc. and B. L. McCoglin, president, general manager and principal shareholder thereof. The cause came on for trial by jury and at the conclusion of complainant's case, the trial judge granted defendant-appellees' motion for directed verdict. Plaintiff appeals therefrom.
At the onset, we note that counsel for appellant concedes the right of the owners of the apartment complex to have an automobile removed from the premises if it is parked in an unmarked or [**3] no parking area in the parking lot. Thus, we hereby affirm the directed verdict in favor of the defendants Mr. and Mrs. Tate and Mr. and Mrs. Denison. The remainder of our opinion is directed to the defendants Trio Towing and its president McCoglin.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
294 So. 2d 331 *; 1974 Fla. App. LEXIS 7216 **
Robert E. MURRELL, Appellant, v. TRIO TOWING SERVICE, INC., a Florida corporation, et al., Appellees
Towing, conversion, defendant-appellees, charges, apartment complex, plaintiff-appellant, personalty, damages, towage, directed verdict motion, action for conversion, mitigation of damages, refuse to surrender, storage charges, parking lot, trial judge, no right, no lien, compensatory, Apartments, undisputed, converted, mitigated, demanded, punitive, unmarked, storage, parked
Torts, Intentional Torts, Conversion, Real Property Law, Liens, Nonmortgage Liens, General Overview