Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Inglis v. Casselberry

Inglis v. Casselberry, 200 So.3d 206 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016)

And the Berlinger versus Casselberry saga continues.  As you may remember, we first met Bruce Berlinger and Roberta Casselberry back in 2013, when Roberta, the former spouse, obtained an order from the court affirming writs of garnishment on discretionary distributions to Bruce, the former husband, from four family trusts.  

Roberta then filed supplemental proceedings against Bruce and trustees of several trusts of which Bruce and his children were beneficiaries.  She sought discovery against Bruce and the trustees, seeking information about distributions to Bruce and his adult children.  The trustees objected with regard to the distributions to the adult children, arguing that those distributions were not at issue, and that the children have a constitutional right to privacy with regard to their personal financial information.  The trial court overruled the objections, noting the litigation history between the parties and the lengths Bruce went to avoid paying Roberta.  The trial court concluded that the information was relevant and ordered the trustees to comply with the discovery requests.

On appeal, the Court disagreed.  It held that the trial court must generally make a determination of whether the information sought is relevant after an evidentiary hearing.  Since there was no evidence offered about why the information was relevant, nor was its relevancy clear from the pleadings, the Court quashed the trial court's order compelling the discovery.

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