Two Former NFL Players Dispute Rightful Ownership of Miami Property

On August 2, 2018, a judge denied an “emergency motion” requesting a temporary injunction to prevent a Miami property purportedly owned by former NFL player, Antonio Bryant, from being conveyed to a third party by another former NFL player, Chuck Sanders.  Bryant filed the motion after claiming that Sanders forged Bryant’s signature on a 2012 deed to himself, and in February 2018, inappropriately conveyed Bryant’s North Miami Beach parcel to a Pennsylvania company called DTT North LLC (“DTT”).

The dispute began after Sanders made a loan to Bryant, and as collateral, Bryant allegedly offered a parcel of land that had been used as a parking lot for a strip club.  Sanders claims that at some point, Bryant went into default and subsequently failed to pay property taxes on the parcel in 2016 and 2017.  As a result of the default and nonpayment of taxes, Sanders sold the property to DTT.

Bryant maintains that he was actually in Miami when the initial 2012 deed to Sanders was executed in Pennsylvania, despite that there were two witnesses to the execution, that Bryant was personally known to the notary on the documents, and that the deed was ultimately filed in the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s office.  As such, he is claiming that the title conveyed to DTT is fundamentally defective and that he is irreparably harmed by his loss of property.

In denying Bryant’s motion for injunctive relief, the court provided, “With regard to the public interest, weighing the equities, it appears that Florida law favors protecting the bona fide purchaser and allowing litigation between the original contracting entities to ensure to determine whether anyone engaged in fraud.”  As such, the court “decline[d] to further elaborate regarding the allegations of fraud, except to note that the evidence was slightly insufficient to meet the heightened standard required for issuance of an injunction.”

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