Sol Melia, S.A. v. Fontana – substitute service insufficient

In Sol Melia, S.A. v. Fontana, the 3rd DCA ruled that the Plaintiffs attempts to serve the Defendant, a foreign corporation, through it’s U.S. Based subsidiary did not satisfy the requirements of Florida’s Substitute Service Statute, s. 48.081(2).

Fontana filed suit against Sol Melia after she allegedly slipped and broke her hip entering a jacuzzi at a resort run by a Sister company of Sol Melia.

Sol Melia is a Spanish corporation wit it’s principal place of business in Spain. Sol Melia owns Sol Group, B.V. a holding company for Sol Group. Sol Group is a Corporation based out of Miami, FL.

After filing suit, Fontana attempted to serve Sol Melia by serving Sol Group. Sol Melia then filed a motion to quash service of process.

The 3rd DCA held that it was insufficient to merely show that Sol Group was a subsidiary of Sol Melia. The Court held that substitute service is only permitted where the parent corporation exercised such a degree of control over it’s subsidiaries that the subsidiary was essentially an alter ego of the parent.

Sol Melia, S.A. v. Fontana, Case No.  3D11-602 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 31, 2011)

Hollywood Mobile Estates Lmtd. v. Hollywood Estates Independent Tenant Assoc., Inc.

The Hollywood Estates Independent Tenant Assoc., Inc. is a Chapter 723 Mobile Home Association.  In a suit over certain rent payments between Hollywood Mobile and Hollywood Estates, an issue arose over whether the Court had jurisdiction over the individual members of the Hollywood Estates mobile home association such that it could require the members to pay rent into the registry of the Court.  The Court found that it did in fact have jurisdiction as Hollywood Estates had brought the suit as a class representative pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. Pro. 1.222.   The Association’s averment that it  instituted the suit  “in its name on behalf of all the mobile homeowners” was sufficient to establish class representation pursuant to rule 1.222.

Hollywood Mobile Estates Lmtd. v. Hollywood Estates Independent Tenant Assoc., Inc., Case No. 4D10-4161 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug 24, 2011)