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Palm Beach Florida Hotel v. Nantucket Enterprises

District Court of Appeal of Florida
211 So.3d 42 (2016)


Facts

Palm Beach Florida Hotel (the hotel) (plaintiff) owned and operated a hotel. Nantucket Enterprises (Nantucket) (defendant) leased spaced within the hotel. The lease included language granting permission for the hotel to take possession of the leased space and expel Nantucket if Nantucket defaulted on the lease. Nantucket intended to use a portion of the leased space for a restaurant. Nantucket began renovating the restaurant area, but failed to acquire the correct building permits. As a result, the city closed the restaurant. The same day, the hotel placed chains and locks on the doors of all of Nantucket’s leased areas. The hotel then terminated the lease and had police escort Nantucket’s employees from the restaurant. Each side filed claims against the other. During trial, Nantucket argued that the hotel improperly used self-help to lock Nantucket out of the entire leased premises. The hotel argued that its termination of the lease ended Nantucket’s possessory interest in the leased property. The hotel also argued that Nantucket was only partially evicted because the hotel’s actions locked Nantucket only out of the restaurant. The trial court agreed with Nantucket, finding that Nantucket was wrongfully evicted from the entire premises. The jury awarded Nantucket several million dollars for damages and conversion. The hotel appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Perlman, J.)

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