Legal Memorandum: Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel in FL

Issue: What elements are needed for a denial of an estoppel defense in Florida?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Doctrine of equitable estoppel; Elements; Misrepresentation
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 744 So. 2d 482
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2000

The doctrine of equitable estoppel requires that the party asserting it prove three elements: (1) a party’s misrepresentation of material fact which is contrary to a later asserted representation by the same party; (2) reliance on that representation by the party claiming estoppel; and (3) a detrimental change in the position of the party claiming estoppel caused by the party’s reliance on the misrepresentation.  State Department of Revenue v. Anderson, 403 So. 2d 397, 401 (Fla. 1981); Mandarin Paint & Flooring, Inc.v. Potura Coatings, Inc. 744 So. 2d 482, 485 (Fla. 1st Dist. Ct. App. 1999).

It was recently held that this detrimental reliance element cannot be satisfied when the party claiming estoppel has actual knowledge of the facts or the means of acquiring such knowledgeMandarin Paint, 744 So. 2d at 486.


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