Manrique v. Fabbri

493 So. 2d 437 (1986)

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Manrique v. Fabbri

Florida Supreme Court
493 So. 2d 437 (1986)

Facts

Giorgio Fabbri (defendant), an Italian citizen, sold Argoville Corporation (Argoville), a Netherlands Antilles corporation, to Continentales (plaintiff), another Netherlands Antilles corporation. The Netherlands Antilles, located in the Caribbean, was a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Argoville’s sole asset was a piece of real property located in Dade County, Florida. The Argoville sale was effectuated pursuant to a stockholder’s settlement agreement. The agreement contained a forum-selection clause stating that any disputes would be determined by the courts of the Netherlands Antilles in accordance with Netherlands Antilles law. Subsequently, Fabbri brought a breach-of-contract action against Continentales in Dade County, Florida. Continentales moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that, under the forum-selection clause, only the courts of the Netherlands Antilles could exercise jurisdiction over Fabbri’s breach-of-contract action. The trial court denied Continentales’s motion to dismiss. On appeal, the district court affirmed, holding that the forum-selection clause was void because Florida’s subject-matter jurisdiction over Fabbri’s action could not be removed by contract. Continentales appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barkett, J.)

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