Grasso v. Grasso

Grasso v. Grasso, 113 So.3d 855 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012)

A clever client/beneficiary will often quickly realize during trust litigation how little power he or she has to stop the trustee from doing certain actions while litigation is pending.  Often, the beneficiary will want to enjoin the trustee from performing those actions, such as disposing of trust assets, during the litigation, because they know that if they challenge the trustee's actions after the fact, they will face an uphill, costly legal battle.  In this case, the trial court granted a settlor/beneficiary's request for a temporary injunction, and enjoined the trustees of the trust from disposing of trust assets.  The injunction was granted at the same time the trial court granted a motion to dismiss against the settlor/beneficiary for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction, with leave to amend.  

The Appellate Court held that a grant of a motion to dismiss with leave to amend is not an appealable final order, since it does not actually decide the issue of jurisdiction.  It then affirmed the temporary injunction, because it found that the appellants did not challenge the injunction on the merits.  To do so in a case concerning the use of trust assets, they must show that the moving party did not present evidence on the four prongs that would authorize the injunction: (1) irreparable harm; (2) no adequate legal remedy; (3) clear right to relief and (4) public interest (citing Kountze v. Kountze, 20 So.3d 428 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009)).


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