Plaintiff landlord filed an eviction on November 1, 2012 and filed a lease with his eviction complaint. During the hearing the landlord argued vigorously that Tenants had violated a particular provision of the lease agreement. Tenants’ counsel produced tenants’ copy of the lease, showing that the lease had expired, and that tenants’ copy had a different lease termination date on it. After extensive questioning by the judge, the landlord finally admitted that he had altered the dates on the lease that he had filed with the court. The court did not buy his explanation that the altered lease had comprised an offer to extend the lease to the tenants. When the court asked the landlord for anything in mitigation for his filing a forged document with the court, the landlord stated that he “was a retired law enforcement officer who had served for 30 years in that capacity.” The Court was taken aback that someone with that length of time in the profession of law enforcement would not know the implications of submitting an altered document and then lying about it to the Court repeatedly. The Court inquired if he was familiar with the Court system. The Plaintiff stated he was very familiar with the court system and that he had testified in court many times throughout his law enforcement career.
The Court found the landlord in violation of Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 3.830 for his direct behavior in front of the Court and Florida Statutes 38.22, 38.23 for failing to follow the direct order of this Court given to him in person and sentenced the Plaintiff, to THIRTY (30) DAYS in Jail to be remanded instanter.
COX v. SANDERS, County Court, 9th Judicial Circuit in and for Orange County. Case No. 2012-CC-15739. December 4, 2012. Wilfredo Martinez, Judge. 20 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 158b