Construction Lien Transferred to Bond Venue

In Kelsey Construction, Inc. V. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, 120 So. 3d 77 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013), the Fourth District held that where a subcontractor’s claim of lien was transferred to a bond, pursuant to section 713.24, the proper venue for such dispute is the county where the claim of lien was recorded.
Attaway Electric recorded two liens against two Winn-Dixie projects in Broward County. The general contractor, Kelsey, transferred the liens to bonds, pursuant to section 713.24, Florida Statutes. Attaway sued Kelsey for breaches of the contracts, and sued Kelsey and Travelers on the lien transfer bonds. Kelsey and Travelers moved to transfer venue to Orange County in accordance with the contracts’ forum selection provisions. The trial court transferred the case to Orange County.
On appeal, the Fourth District reversed holding that section 713.24 requires that “[a]ny party having an interest in such security or the property from which the lien was transferred may at any time, and any number of times, file a complaint in chancery in the circuit court of the county where such security is deposited.” The statute prevailed over the contractual venue provision. Accordingly, the Fourth District vacated the order transferring the action to Orange County.