Summary Judgment overturned on finding that material facts in dispute

The case involves the appeal of final summary judgment in a suit for civil forfeiture of $2,470.00.  The currency was seized based on allegations that the currency’s owner (“Owner”) sold cocaine.

The City served the Owner with Requests for Admissions that went unanswered.  The City then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in which it took the position that the Owner was deemed to have admitted the facts in the unanswered Request for Admissions.  The trial court granted the summary judgment motion.

On appeal, the Second DCA overturned the trial court’s order, finding:

Although a court normally has discretion to rely on a technically deemed admission to support a summary judgment, it is error to do so if the record contains evidence contradicting the admission. Walker v. City of Bartow Police Dep’t (In re Forfeiture of 1982 Ford Mustang), 725 So. 2d 382, 385 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998); see also Mahmoud v. King, 824 So. 2d 248 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002) (holding, and citing like cases that hold, summary judgment is not proper based on a failure to respond to requests for admissions when the record otherwise reveals disputed issues of material fact).

In re forfeiture of: $2470.00 in U.S. Currency, Case No. 2D13-6217 (Fla. 2nd DCA May 8, 2015).