The CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA, INC., and Mary Sue Hubbard,
Gabriel CAZARES and Margaret Cazares, his wife, Appellees.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.
April 1, 1981.
Defendants appealed from an order of the Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Fred
L. Bryson, J., denying their motion for change of venue to the limited extent
that they sought a recusal of the court and assignment of the case to another
judge in another circuit, but granting the motion to the extent that the trial
of the cause would be held in another county. The District Court of Appeal,
Scheb, C. J., held that, once the circuit court concluded that the cause should
be transferred, it had to enter an order transferring the action to a court of
the same jurisdiction in another county and could not retain jurisdiction and
merely transfer the trial to another county; defendants were required to pay
Vacated and remanded.
Once circuit court concluded that cause should be transferred, it had to enter
order transferring action to court of like jurisdiction in another county and
could not retain jurisdiction and merely transfer trial to another county;
defendants were required to pay accrued costs. West's F.S.A. ss 47.141,
*810 Paul Antinori, Jr., Tampa, for appellants.
Walt Logan, St. Petersburg, Wagner, Cunningham, Vaughan, Genders & McLaughlin,
Tampa, and Joel D. Eaton of Podhurst, Orseck & Parks, Miami, for appellees.
SCHEB, Chief Judge.
Gabriel and Margaret Cazares sued The Church of Scientology of California,
Inc., and Mary Sue Hubbard in circuit court in Pinellas County. The Church and
Hubbard each moved for a change of venue under section 47.101(1)(b), Florida
Statutes (1979), on the ground that they could not receive a fair trial in
Pinellas County because The Church was odious to the inhabitants of Pinellas
County and the people associated Hubbard with The Church because she was the
wife of its founder.
Following a hearing the trial court entered its order stating:
(T)hat the Motions for Change of Venue are denied to the limited extent that
they seek a recusal of the Court and assignment of the case to another Judge in
another Circuit, however,
It is further ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion is granted in part to the
extent that the trial of the cause shall be held in Daytona Beach, Volusia
It is further ORDERED that F.S. 47.191 shall not be applied to require the
movants, MARY SUE HUBBARD and THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA INC. to
pay taxable costs at this time since the cause has not been transferred away
from the Circuit Court for Pinellas County, Florida and that jurisdiction still
lies in that Court.
While the court denied The Church and Hubbard's motions to the extent that
they sought recusal, the order indicates that the court concluded that the
cause should be transferred. Once the court determined this, it had to enter
an order transferring the action to a court of the same jurisdiction in another
county. s 47.141, Fla.Stat. (1979). The court's authority at that point was
limited to entry of an order transferring jurisdiction. Kern v. Kern, 309
So.2d 563 (Fla. 2d DCA 1975); University Federal Savings and Loan Association
of Coral Gables v. Lightbourn, 201 So.2d 568 (Fla. 4th DCA 1967).
*811 Further, the court having improperly attempted to retain jurisdiction,
it also erred in not requiring The Church and Hubbard, as movants, to pay
accrued costs. s 47.191, Fla.Stat. (1979).
Accordingly, we vacate the court's order, remand, and direct the trial court
to enter an order transferring venue in accordance with section 47.141 and
directing payment of costs as required by section 47.191.
HOBSON and DANAHY, JJ., concur.