The real estate dispute involves an international telecommunications company and a local company with beach property. The local company states the telecommunications company is illegally using its beach property by placing underwater cables across its beaches. Lower courts agreed with the local company and granted it a writ of possession. This is a legal term that essentially means the telecommunications company must return possession of the land to the local business.

The two entities then argued about an equitable remedy, or just award. The local business stated it would be difficult to put a monetary value on the damage done. The telecommunications company stated a proper monetary value would be the cost of moving the cables or the expense that comes with getting an easement permitting the cables.

The judge presiding over the case stated the holding did not provide the defendant with the ability to receive an easement to run the cables from the local company. Instead, it only called for the telecommunications company to return the land to its prior state. As such, she stated the telecommunications company “bears the burden” of showing the amount that it owes the local business as the current estimates are too speculative.

What is the holding?

The final cost is not yet known. The judge has sent the case back for further review. However, we do know that the telecommunications company is responsible for coming up with an accurate estimate as to the cost of restoring the property to its prior state. This case will help guide legal resolutions for other, similar Florida real estate disputes.