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Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Businesses Abruptly Shut Down By Local Government in Florida in Tax Dispute—Case Will Move Forward

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-49-13

According to a report from Bloomberg Law, a federal appellate court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit businesses filed against a local government in Florida. Lauderhill—a city in Broward County—had reportedly “abruptly” shut down businesses for delinquent taxes. The private businesses will not be allowed to pursue their claim. Here, our West Palm Beach commercial litigation lawyer highlights the nature of the dispute and explains the implications of the court’s decision.

The Legal Conflict: Abrupt Business Closures for Tax Debt 

Several businesses filed a lawsuit against the City of Lauderhill over a tax conflict. According to the complaint, the companies—which all allegedly owed local tax debt—were given just 24 hours notice to resolve the matter. After that short notice period, city officials closed down their business. They filed a lawsuit against the city arguing a violation of their due process rights based on the short duration of notice that they were provided. They argued a constitutional violation of due process rights.

 Understanding Due Process Rights 

Due process is a legal principle that guarantees fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen’s entitlement. It requires the state to respect all the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process principles ensure that any action taken by the government against an individual follows established rules and procedures

 Appellate Court Reverses a Dismissal 

A lower court initially dismissed the lawsuit filed by the businesses against Lauderhill on the grounds that they did not plead sufficient facts/allegations to support a due process violation. However, on review, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that dismissal. The federal appellate court—which has appellate jurisdiction for all cases arising in Florida—found that the plaintiffs (businesses) had pleaded sufficient facts to support a potential due process violation. As such, the case is now being remanded to a lower level for a hearing on the merits of the dispute.

 Businesses Navigating Litigation Against Government Entities Need Specialized Support

 Business litigation is complicated—especially so when one (or more) of the parties are on the other side local, state, or federal government entities. Businesses navigating litigation against government entities face unique challenges that demand specialized support. Engaging an attorney with the right experience is paramount, as these cases often involve intricate legal frameworks and public policy considerations. A lawyer can review your case and help you understand your rights/options.

 Get Help From Our Commercial Litigation Attorney in West Palm Beach

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are solutions-driven commercial litigators. If your business is locked into any type of legal dispute with a government entity, our attorneys are prepared to review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Contact our team today for your confidential initial consultation. We provide business representation throughout Southeast Florida.



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