How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118688
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Law Educator, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In Florida Civil Law, actions brought for Civil Theft, Conversion

This answer was rated:

In Florida Civil Law, actions brought for Civil Theft, Conversion and Unjust Enrichment where a Breach of Contract was involved, are defended in a Motion to Dismiss on the basis that such Torts cannot be alleged if they are resultant from a Breach of Contract. In arguing such defense, Gasparini v. Pordomingo, 972 So. 2d 1053, 1055 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008) is cited.
Is that true, and what (if any) exceptions (case law) is there to counter this?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You are bringing alternative theories seeking relief in your case which is permissible. The FL courts hold, conversion claims are independent of a breach of contract. See: Duncan v. Kasim, Inc., 810 So. 2d 968 (Fla. App., 2002).

The court cited Alex Hofrichter, P.A. v. Zuckerman & Venditti, P.A., 710 So.2d 127 (Fla. App. 3 Dist., 1998) and stated, "In our view, an action for conversion and civil theft will lie where there is a claim that the defendant has misappropriated or embezzled trust funds, and such a claim amounts to an independent tort." In Zuckerman & Venditti, the court stated where intent can be proven, "we are not persuaded by the argument that no civil theft or conversion occurred in this case because there was a contractual relationship between the parties."

Thank you so much for using I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. PLEASE use REPLY to EXPERT if you would like more information or if you feel something was not included in your answer.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

Law Educator, Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for my confusion, and thanks for your answer. But my POV is as a Plaintiff, where such a defense is being argued; so I'm looking for the nitty-gritty to defeating such logic for Defense's Motion To Dismiss, because there was contracts. In fact, and perhaps ironically, the agreement was a confidentiality agreement with specific language that "upon demand" all materials submitted will be returned. These materials were not returned, and hence both the breach and the civil theft, converstion, etc. Does this change your answer, or did I misread something in it that I should return to?

Thank you for your response.

I believe you have misread something or misunderstood it. The case law I provided you above does not matter if you are plaintiff or defendant, the issue the court addressed above still applies. The court stated that if the conduct was willful and intentional, the torts of conversion, enrichment and theft could be independent torts from breach of contract. You said the defense is arguing you cannot raise those as independent torts, but the courts in FL state if you can prove willful intent you can indeed raise them as independent torts and that is what the cases above state (even if their fact patterns are not the same as your's, they are cited for the issue not the fact pattern per se and the issue is the same as you stated and they address that issue).
Law Educator, Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Double thanks. I am glad at least to know I suspected I was missing something, and you've done a great job pointing out what I was looking for in your original answer by clarifying my oversight with your second answer. Thanks also for your patience and promptness. Now I need to deal with the ratings. Ciao.

Thank you very much. Best of luck with your case.