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Appellate court rejects tenants attempt at an appeal based on a partial trial transcript.

In HOUSTON v. LOPEZ,   [Case No. 2010-CV-11. L.C. Case No. 2008-CC-19708. October 27, 2011. Appeal from the County Court, for Orange County. Online Reference: FLWSUPP 1902HOUS. ],  the tenant appealed the loss of her eviction alleging that the trial court erred in not dismissing the case for a defective 3 Day Notice, or for finding that the temporary interruption of her water constituted constructive eviction and awarding her 3 months’ rent as damages, or to find that the present eviction for non-payment of rent constituted retaliatory eviction for her earlier complaints to the landlord to repair water leaks.

The appellate court stated: “The standard of review for final judgment is de novo and the court’s actual findings are reviewed to determine whether they are supported by competent substantial evidence. An appellate court will not disturb a final judgment if there is competent substantial evidence to support a ruling on which a judgment is based. Berges v. Infinity Insurance Co., 896 So. 2d 665, 676 (Fla. 2004) [29 Fla. L. Weekly S679a]. It is well established that in appellate proceedings the decision of a trial court is presumed to be correct and the burden is on the appellant to demonstrate error. Applegate v. Barnett Bank of Tallahassee, 377 So. 2d 1150, 1152 (Fla. 1979) and Wright v. Wright, 431 So. 2d 177, 178 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983).”

Although there was a transcript  of the trial,  the appellant tenant claimed she could not afford a copy of the entire transcript,  but only a portion of it.  The court stated “Along with the burden of demonstrating error, the appellant also bears the burden of furnishing an adequate appellate record in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. Fla. R. App. P. 9.200(e). Without an adequate transcript of the trial proceedings, appellate review is limited to errors of law that are apparent on the face of the record. Maslow v. Edwards, 886 So. 2d 1027, 1028 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004) [29 Fla. L. Weekly D2489a].” …. “Accordingly, in the absence of a complete transcript, particularly of the testimony from witnesses referenced in Appellant’s brief, this Court is unable to evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence considered by the trial court in support of its extensive factual findings. Instead, this Court must presume that such findings are correct. Goonan v. Hensley, 852 So. 2d 361, 362 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003) [28 Fla. L. Weekly D1920e] and Hirsch v. Hirsch, 642 So. 2d 20, 21 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994).

The appellate court noted the findings of fact made by the trial court supported the trial court’s rulings of law and denied the appeal, awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the landlord.

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