STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, by env73157

VIEWS: 70 PAGES: 2

									                                             IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
                                             FIRST DISTRICT, STATE OF FLORIDA

STATE OF FLORIDA,                            NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO
DEPARTMENT OF                                FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
CORRECTIONS,                                 DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

      Appellant/Cross-Appellee,
                                             CASE NO. 1D03-3786
v.

C. LEON BROOKS,

      Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

_____________________________/


Opinion filed August 4, 2004.

An appeal from an order of the Circuit Court for Jackson County. William L. Wright,
Judge.

Charles J. Crist, Jr., Attorney General, and Albert J. Bowden, III, Senior Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

John S. Mills and Tracy S. Carlin of Mills & Carlin, P.A., Jacksonville, and Tracy W.
Cary, Dothan, Alabama, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant.




PER CURIAM.

      In this lease dispute between the Florida Department of Corrections and its

former landlord, appellee Mr. Brooks, the trial court found in favor of appellee and

awarded damages. On appeal, the Department raises numerous points, and on cross
appeal, Mr. Brooks raises one point. The Department’s second point, whether the

court’s judgment in favor of Mr. Brooks was supported by the evidence, is dispositive

and we do not reach any of the other points.

      Viewed in a light most favorable to appellee, the evidence does not support the

trial court’s finding that the Department “is estopped” from asserting that certain

problems (including a rat infestation) rendered the premises untenantable during the

period of the renewed lease. Because the judgment under review also finds that,

absent the trial court’s finding of estoppel, the rat infestation alone would have caused

the leased building to be untenantable, we conclude that the Department’s defense to

appellee’s claim for damages resulting from a breached lease must prevail.

REVERSED and REMANDED with instructions that judgment be entered in favor of

the State of Florida, Department of Corrections.

WOLF, CJ., KAHN, and LEWIS, JJ., CONCUR.

								
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