Fla. Stat. 713.24 Lien Transfer to Cash by Interested Party Non-Owner, Are you obligated to increase security?

If a (non-owner) interested party (Contractor, Subcontractor) transfers to cash a lien placed on the Owner’s property, is that party perpetually obligated to increase security upon motion and order obtained by the foreclosing plaintiff for the pendency of the case.

The law is unsettled, but seems to answer this question in the negative.

Florida Law does not otherwise permit a finding of contempt or for the Court to strike pleadings based on a failure to increase security from an order entered pursuant to Fla. Stat. 713.24.  See Smith Original Homes Inc. v. Carpet King Carpets Inc., 896 So.2d 844, 846 (Fla. App. 2nd DCA 2005) “There is no express authority for sanctions for failure to pay an ordered increase in the surety bond. Even were we to conclude that the court had some inherent authority to impose the sanction of striking pleadings, it made no findings of willful disregard, gross indifference, or deliberate callousness.” 

The foreclosing plaintiff is best served to keep the Owner in the litigation, as a notice party, even without active counts against it, should it need to increase the security during the litigation by re-attaching such increase to the subject property.

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