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Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District
March 5, 2014, Decided
[*433] Damoorgian, C.J.
Harry Sargeant, III, Mustafa Abu-Naba'a, and International Oil Trading Company, LLC ("the debtors") appeal the trial court's non-final order granting Mohammad Anwar Farid Al-Saleh's ("the creditor") motion to compel the debtors to turn over stock certificates evincing their ownership interest in several foreign entities. We reverse the trial court's ruling [**2] because the court lacked jurisdiction to compel the turnover of property located outside the State of Florida.
This case arises from the creditor's suit against the debtors for breach of an agreement to ship oil across Jordan for use by the United States military in Iraq. Following a jury verdict of $28.8 million, the trial court entered judgment against the debtors and we affirmed. Sargeant v. Al-Saleh, 120 So. 3d 86, 87-88 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).
The creditor filed a motion for proceedings supplementary to execution pursuant to section 56.29, Florida Statutes (2012). The motion sought to compel the debtors to "turn over all stock certificates and similar documents memorializing their ownership interest in any corporation." The debtors opposed the motion, arguing that the stock certificates concerned assets [*434] located abroad—in the Bahamas, the Netherlands, Jordan, the Isle of Man, and the Dominican Republic—and therefore, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to compel the turnover.1 Without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the trial court entered an order compelling the debtors to turn over the stock certificates to their counsel. This appeal follows.
On appeal, the debtors maintain that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to compel the turnover of the stock certificates. They argue that Chapter 56, Florida Statutes, does not apply extraterritorially and that in order to execute the judgment against their foreign assets, the creditor must proceed under the laws of the foreign jurisdictions where the stock certificates are held. The creditor counters that the trial court had the authority to compel the turnover of the stock certificates by virtue of its in personam jurisdiction over the debtors. We disagree and reverse.
] While we recognize that the trial court has discretion in supplementary proceedings brought pursuant to section 56.29, Florida Statutes, see Donan v. Dolce Vita Sa, Inc., 992 So. 2d 859, 861 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008), this case presents issues of law, which we review de novo, see Sanchez v. Renda Broad. Corp., 127 So. 3d 627, 628 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013).
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137 So. 3d 432 *; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 2982 **; 39 Fla. L. Weekly D 488; 2014 WL 836755
HARRY SARGEANT, III, MUSTAFA ABU-NABA'A, and INTERNATIONAL OIL TRADING COMPANY, LLC, a Florida corporation, Appellants, v. MOHAMMAD ANWAR FARID AL-SALEH, Appellee.
Subsequent History: Review denied by Al-Saleh v. Sargeant, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 3390 (Fla., Nov. 17, 2014)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal of non-final order from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County; Robin Rosenberg, Judge; L.T. Case No. 502008CA010187XX.
Sargeant v. Al-Saleh, 120 So. 3d 86, 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 12338 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist., 2013)
trial court, stock certificate, judgment debtor, turnover
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Judgments, Enforcement & Execution, General Overview, Writs of Execution, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Rem Actions, In Personam Actions, Business & Corporate Compliance, Foreign Judgments