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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 33717
Experience:  15 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA
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We are contractors in miami fl. Our plumber cut out pipes

Customer Question

Hi, We are contractors in miami fl. Our plumber cut out pipes from a job site after … loosing his cool. Police was called and Plumber contested via phone to the cutting out of the pipes. Now I am in contact w. the police department, but issue is they don't
apparently know construction law… I know as a fact, that one florida statue depicts that "installed fixtures" of what ever nature - if a new kitchen or plubing pipes which were installed, are not allowed to be removed due to the law I am trying to find exactly
this statue, Best, Alexander
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 12 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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According to FL Statutes 192.001 Definitions,

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(d) “Tangible personal property” means all goods, chattels, and other articles of value (but does not include the vehicular items enumerated in s. 1(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution and elsewhere defined) capable of manual possession and whose chief value is intrinsic to the article itself. “Construction work in progress” consists of those items of tangible personal property commonly known as fixtures, machinery, and equipment when in the process of being installed in new or expanded improvements to real property and whose value is materially enhanced upon connection or use with a preexisting, taxable, operational system or facility. Construction work in progress shall be deemed substantially completed when connected with the preexisting, taxable, operational system or facility. Inventory and household goods are expressly excluded from this definition.

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Further, fixtures are defined in Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to include “goods that have become so related to particular real property that an interest in them arises under real property law.”

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So once the pipes were permanently installed, they became fixtures and you are correct.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Barrister,THank you for your quick response;I was thinking more about construction law itself meaning chapter 455. and 489
Its a criminal offense as far as I understand to remove those fixers.In my case the plumber got a hefty 7000$ downpayment (50%) in this case, industry standard is 20-25%max.
due to our previous relationship I unfortunately trusted the guy….I hope you understand me
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome.

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I have been digging around in the construction statutes but can't find anything specific under FL construction law that pinpoints this. However it would likely fall under FL's civil theft of property laws so as to allow you to sue the plumber for the cost of any repairs as well as any unearned down payment under a breach of contract claim.

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You may have trouble getting a local prosecutor to charge him criminally with theft if he cut out pipes that he had installed under some dispute about money.. They tend to try to push these types of cases over to civil court.

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I will dig around some more in 489 and 455 to see if I can find something on point..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I understand what you mean, but due to the fact that we also have a police report , that states burglary , dispute about money is not the case bec. he got a very generous downpayment of $7000.00 vs. the work performed before cutting them out was around max. $1,500.00
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Ok, if he returned to the job site with the intent to commit a crime (i.e. removing the installed pipes) then that would meet the requirements for burglary and you could move forward with the local DA to pursue criminal prosecution.

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I was under the impression that he put them in, got mad, and then cut them right back out all in one continuous flow, not that he came back later and took them out. That definitely makes it much easier for a DA to prosecute.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you !Not shure how to close out , again thks for your help
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome. Glad to help..

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And there should be something to click on to rate my service if you don't have any further questions.

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thanks much

Barrister

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