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Fraud & Civil Theft Litigation

Work With An Experienced Fraud Litigation Attorney

Cases involving civil fraud generally involve deceitful or dishonest behavior. In comparison to criminal fraud, civil fraud requires that the victim suffer damages, or a tangible injury. Civil fraud often arises from contracts.

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Claims for civil fraud are primarily based upon fraudulent misrepresentation or fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentation. Generally, to prove that there has been a misrepresentation, you must prove:

  • Defendant had knowledge of the falsity of the representation; 
  • the Defendant intended to induce the reliance on the representation; 
  • Plaintiff relied on the false representation; 
  • Plaintiff suffered damages.
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Experienced Fraud & Civil Theft Litigation Attorneys

What is Fraud?

Fraud requires an intent to deceive and have knowledge of the deception. In comparison to a contract, a contract will be rendered void if there has been fraud. Thereby, recission is a common remedy for contract fraud.

Civil fraud requires a proximate result. Regardless of how egregious or harmful misrepresentation may be, if the Plaintiff does not rely on it or there is no injury connected to the misrepresentation, then the Plaintiff is not entitled to relief. In a civil fraud case, compensatory and punitive damages are possible remedies.

Are there different types of Fraud?

Yes. There are several different types of fraud as can be seen below. If you feel that you or someone you love are victims of fraud but are unsure how to proceed, please contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

  • Fraudulent Misrepresentation. Under Florida Law, there are four elements of fraudulent misrepresentation: (1) a false statement concerning a material fact; (2) the representor’s knowledge that the representation is false; (3) an intention that the representation induce another to act on it; and (4) consequent injury by the party acting in reliance on the representation.’” Butler v. Yusem, 44 So. 3d 102, 105 (Fla. 2010). 
  • Negligent Misrepresentation or Fraudulent Inducement. A claim for negligent misrepresentation requires the Plaintiff to prove these four elements: (1) the Defendant committed a false statement of material fact that they believed to be true but was in fact false (a misrepresentation); (2) the Defendant should have known the representation was false; (3) the Defendant intended to induce the association to act on the misrepresentation, and (4) the Plaintiff acted in justifiable reliance on the misrepresentation causing injury to the association. 
  • Fraud. Generally, in order to state a cause of action for fraud or fraud in the inducement, the complaining party must allege: (1) a false statement of fact; (2) known by the Defendant to be false at the time it was made; (3) made for the purpose of inducing the Plaintiff to act in reliance thereon; (4) action by the Plaintiff in reliance on the correctness of the representation; and (5) resulting damage to the Plaintiff.
  • Constructive Fraud. In order to prevail in a constructive fraud case, the Plaintiff must prove, (1) Plaintiff and Defendant share a confidential or fiduciary relationship; (2) the Defendant abused the relationship or took unconscionable advantage of Plaintiff; (3) the Plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

In order to prevail in a Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Negligent Misrepresentation case, you must prove:

  • The Defendant had the intent to induce the Plaintiff to act on a misrepresentation.
  • The Plaintiff actually relied on and acted on the misrepresentation.

If I win, what can I recover?

A victim of Fraudulent Misrepresentation or Negligent Fraudulent Misrepresentation must suffer damages in order to prevail. A victim of fraud can recover compensatory damages, special damages, attorney fees and even punitive damages as well. If the Fraudulent Misrepresentation arises out of a contract, the prevailing party may recover attorney’s fees if noted in the contract. Padgett v. Kessinger, 190 So.3d 105, 107(Fla. 4th DCA 2015). In Florida, punitive damages may not be more than three times (3) more than the judgment amount. 

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages act as a penalty for particularly egregious behavior. Furthermore, punitive damages are generally not recoverable for a breach of contract unless it is accompanied by a separate and independent tort claim – such as fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation. Ghodrati v. Miami Paneling Corp., 770 So.2d 181(Fla. 3d DCA 2000). 

Per Florida Statute § 768.72, a Defendant may be held liable for punitive damages only if the trier of fact (the jury), based on clear and convincing evidence, finds that the defendant was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence:

(a)  “Intentional misconduct” means that the Defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness of the conduct and the high probability that injury or damage to the claimant would result and, despite that knowledge, intentionally pursued that course of conduct, resulting in injury or damage.”

(b)  “Gross negligence” means that the Defendant’s conduct was so reckless or wanting in care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of persons exposed to such conduct.”

What is Civil Theft?

In Florida, there is a powerful civil remedy to punish anyone who has unlawfully takes money or property from you or your business. If you are a victim of civil theft, under Florida Statute 772.11, you have the right to file a lawsuit for three times the amount of actual damages you suffered (with a minimum of $200), plus attorney fees, and court costs. 

How do I prove civil theft?

Under Fla. Stat § 812.014, the elements of a claim for civil theft in Florida are:

  1. Knowingly;
  2. Obtained or used, or endeavored to obtain or use, the Plaintiff’s property
  3. With felonious intent;
  4. Either temporarily or permanently to a) deprive plaintiff of its right to or a benefit from the property, or b) appropriate the property to the Defendant’s own use or to the use of a person not entitled to the property.

The Burden of Proof is “clear and convincing” evidence. The statute of limitations to file a civil theft claim is five years from the time when the conversion or theft took place and/or was discovered (or should have been discovered). Bankruptcy does not discharge a Judgment for civil theft. 

If you or someone you love is a victim of civil theft, contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. to schedule your free 30-mintue consultation. There are statutory pre-suit notices that are required prior to filing a civil theft lawsuit.  

Why Hire the Horton Law Group, P.A?

The principal partner at the Horton Law Group, P.A., Attorney Sommer C. Horton, has been litigating cases for 20 years. She is an experienced and aggressive estate litigator. She is highly regarded for her creativeness, strategic judgment and her uncanny ability to deliver persuasive legal arguments in the courtroom. She has a tremendous skill for being an aggressive advocate for her clients, while being one who understands and appreciates how trying litigation can be, thus, she is extremely sensitive to her clients’ needs. 

Ms. Horton is passionate about the law and believes in seeking justice for her clients in an ethical and economic manner. Ms. Horton fights for each and every one of her clients – every step of the way. Ms. Horton will spend time with you to make sure you understand the law and understand your rights. 

The Horton Law Group, P.A. is a boutique civil litigation law firm that only takes on a limited number of cases so that personal attention can be given to every client. Make the right call – schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Ms. Horton. You can make an appointment by calling 561-299-0018 or emailing legalsupport@hortonlawgroup.com

Hear From Our Clients

Recently, I acquired my first home! I retained Ms. Horton to help me file Homestead for my property. I was unsure whether to put my Homestead property in my Revocable Trust – she provided me the benefits and consequences of doing so in a way that I actually understood. I trust her judgment. She was very patient and very sensitive to my needs. I look forward to working with her again in the future.

Joseph F., Client

Ms. Horton represented me during my divorce. She was the best. Very sharp! Very skilled! She was attentive to my needs and was prompt in her responses back to all of my calls and emails. If you are looking for an attorney who will actually represent you and listen to what it is that you want, then you need to call Attorney Sommer Horton. She made this process very easy for me. When I had her in my corner, I was not stressed because I knew she was taking good care of me. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Victoria R., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria P., Client

I would strongly recommend Horton Law Group. The whole staff was helpful and courteous every time I was there. Ms. Horton is an excellent attorney. She handled my case professionally and resolved my issue with a favorable result for me. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of an exemplary attorney.

Thomas N., Client

An issue came up and I called the Horton law group… I’m so lucky that I did. Sommer handled it with ease. She is attentive, assertive, and a bull dog! If you need something big or small handled or if you need good legal advice don’t hesitate! It would be a mistake not to call.

John B., Client

Sommer was simply brilliant and amazing with representing us but also very patient and understanding In her handling of the anixiety we were feeling. It was nice to have someone by our side and I could not have done this without her.

Glenn A., Client

The Horton law group provided me a great service. I’m very pleased with them.

Maria O., Client

Sommer Horton represented my Stepmother wonderfully. We were in an emergency situation involving my father’s trust. We were helped every step of the way. She was upfront and honest with us throughout. Sommer and her staff were very friendly and quick to respond to any questions we had. Sommer is an outstanding attorney who diligently advocated on our behalf. I highly recommend her.

Margaret S., Client

My introduction to Sommer Horton has been a privileged experience! She is nothing short of an amazing attorney, always having your back with outstanding results. We met years ago under sad circumstances when I lost a parent and since then, Sommer has handled our life…. the good, the bad and the ugly. If Sommer has the time to handle your case, you are guaranteed to be in the best of hands!

Tami D., Client

Sommer Horton is a top-notch attorney. She’s my go-to lawyer for family issues, estate planning, or any time I have a legal issue or question. She and her staff are responsive, attentive, and they get results. I highly recommend Horton Law Group.

Gayle D., Client

Recently Sommer Horton Represented my brother and I in a probate matter and she did an awesome job. Our case was very difficult and she was extremely patient and when it was neccessary she aggresively took action. I would recommend her services and use her again. The entire staff was very helpful.

Melissa H., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in Guardianship case. It lasted several years. She kept me informed, never missed a deadline and was sensitive to my needs as it came to legal fees and costs. She was worth every penny spent on legal fees. I hope I don’t ever need legal counsel in the future, but if I do, Mr. Horton is the only lawyer I will call. Ms. Horton and her legal team are top notch professionals. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Deborah B., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria F., Client

Sommer Horton is professional, timely, and always available to assist with any questions. She doesn’t waste my time and keeps things efficient. Never a doubt things are being handled correctly!

Victoria C., Client

Sommer is incredible! She and her team greatly helped my family and I. She is extremely driven and I could not believe how hard she worked. I highly recommend her!

Lucas A., Client

I have had the privilege of working together with Sommer on several matters. She is extremely focused and detail oriented. She seems to shine in every situation. Highly recommended.

Johny L., Client

Ms. Horton and her team are professional, courteous, honest and diligent. Their knowledge of the law and ability to look at all solutions made all the difference in my case. Their personal approach made me feel like was their only client. They were always available and always positioning my case towards a positive result. I recommend the Horton Law Group to any person looking for fair and comprehensive representation.

David C., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a

Stephen W., Client

Sommer is very professional and dedicated with her client care. She is a beast in court, extremely fierce. She keeps the line of communication open and is very detailed with her explanations. Anytime I need to use an attorney, you can be sure I will call Sommer.

Scott B., Client

Let me start by saying, I have had Sommer represent me in several litigations. She has always been very dependable and honest about how she would handle my particular situations. Her dedication to my cases, even the small ones has always impressed me. Sommer is what I would describe as someone you always want on your side. She is tenacious in getting things done, on time and with as much success as she promised. I would highly recommend her for litigation cases as well as estate planning. I can only say again if you have Sommer you have one of the best to represent you.

Bill M., Client

Sommer is a wonderful attorney, she’s the type of attorney that everyone wishes for, she’s dedicated, fierce, loyal to her clients and ensures that every option is explored to find the absolute best possible situation and outcome. Her attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond is what truly separates Sommer from the rest. I’m glad I found her and would definitely recommend to anyone that needs her services.

James G., Client

Very professional and reliable Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute. Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara D., Client

Ms. Horton took care of every detail regarding my case in a timely manner, strongly suggest!

Kelly F., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a trusted professional to ensure that my case is grounded in legal case law, Florida statutes, and working to come up with the best solutions for me.

Stephen M., Client

Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute. Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara P., Client

Sommer Horton is the best attorney I’ve ever used. She is aggressive and gets the job done, but she cares about her clients. Her office is friendly and responsive, and she’s always there to answer any questions I have.

Gayle M., Client

Ms Horton handled my labor case and it was quickly resolved. She was well versed with the legalities of my case and advised me that it would be favorably resolved. Once she the information from me about the case and sent a demand letter, the other party settled within days. She did a great job for me

Raffaele B., Client

Sommer advised me on estate planing, she also made it easy to draw up a will. She is a one of a kind attorney that cares about clients need.

Joseph F., Client

Ms. Horton is a fabulous divorce attorney. She is affordable, aggressive and will fight for you. I would strongly recommend you to call her. She I creative and she is also very easy to talk to, she understands what you are going through and she will be there for you.

Giancarlo M., Client

Sommer worked with my on my trust and other legal documents. I recently had to meet with her again to update them. I feel comfortable that I am in good hands with her knowledge and detail. I would highly recommend her firm

K. U., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in Guardianship case. It lasted several years. She kept me informed, never missed a deadline and was sensitive to my needs as it came to legal fees and costs. She was worth every penny spent on legal fees. I hope I don’t ever need legal counsel in the future, but if I do, Mr. Horton is the only lawyer I will call. Ms. Horton and her legal team are top notch professionals. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Deborah B., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria F., Client

I came to the law group with a problem from years ago… all I can say is that Sommer is amazing! Her staff is outstanding.. Sommer is such a bulldog and fought hard for me.. I’m so lucky I made the right choice. If you have legal problems or need legal advice call the Horton Law Group. You will be glad you did.
I came to the law group with a problem from years ago… all I can say is that Sommer is amazing! Her staff is outstanding.. Sommer is such a bulldog and fought hard for me.. I’m so lucky I made the right choice. If you have legal problems or need legal advice call the Horton Law Group. You will be glad you did.

John B., Client

Sommer Horton has been a professional in all my dealings with her. She is professional, courteous, and detail focused.

Scott S., Client

Highly recommend ! She was very professional and helpful , you won’t be dissapointed . Her attention to detail is impressive.

Hannah C., Client

Ms. Horton helped me with my estate planning. She was very patient and attentive to our current and future needs. She will always look out for you and keep your best interests intact. I highly recommend her for any legal needs you may have!

Jenifer P., Client

Very professional and reliabe
Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute.
Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara C., Client

Let me start by saying, I have had Sommer represent me in several litigations. She has always been very dependable and honest about how she would handle my particular situations. Her dedication to my cases, even the small ones has always impressed me. Sommer is what I would describe as someone you always want on your side. She is tenacious in getting things done, on time and with as much success as she promised. I would highly recommend her for litigation cases as well as estate planning. I can only say again if you have Sommer you have one of the best to represent you.

Bill M., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a trusted professional to ensure that my case is grounded in legal case law, Florida statutes, and working to come up with the best solutions for me.

Stephen W., Client

Sommer is a wonderful attorney, she’s the type of attorney that everyone wishes for, she’s dedicated, fierce, loyal to her clients and ensures that every option is explored to find the absolute best possible situation and outcome. Her attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond is what truly separates Sommer from the rest. I’m glad I found her and would definitely recommend to anyone that needs her services.

James G., Client

Sommer Horton has served as our general corporate counsel for the past several years.  She aggressively defended us in a frivolous lawsuit filed against us and won!   She has also represented us on several other corporate matters.  She has handled all of our business needs with great success. She is professional, dedicated and has a keen attention to detail. I fully and confidently recommend Sommer Horton and the Horton Law Group, P.A. for all of your professional and business needs.

Juan C., Client

I was looking for a great lawyer to be on my side on a lawsuit and I was very lucky to find Summer. Not only is she extremely responsive to any questions I had, but she had the ability to understand my needs. From day one, she advised me on the best route to take and explained in detail what to expect and the potential problems that might be on the horizon. Sommer is someone I trust to handle any future claim and I definitely want her on my side. Needless to say…we won the case she represented us in.  She is top notch.

Annette L., Client

Horton Law Group represented me better than I could have ever imagined. My needs were put first and I was treated as a friend rather than a number.   My opinions were valued and my doubts were always reassured.  My nerves were calmed and the process was always explained.   My attorney, Sommer Horton, fought hard for me.   She went above and beyond and did everything she could to ensure a great outcome.  I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm or attorney. Thanks guys!!!

Barbara C., Client

I have known Sommer Horton for years.  I recently utilized her services to draft my family estate plans.  I was blown away with her knowledge of the law.  She explained the importance of each document in a way that I understood why I needed my estate plan.  She is affordable and efficient.  In fact, she is wonderful!  Ms. Horton really does care and she will make sure you, your family and your asserts are protected.   My recommendation would be that you call her if you need legal help.  She will take good care of you.

Madi P., Client

I retained Sommer Horton from the Horton Law Group to represent me in a trust litigation lawsuit. We successfully had the successor trustees removed and me appointed to serve as the current trustee of the trust. I find Ms. Horton to be very knowledgeable with the laws. Every strategic move she made in the case, she had me approve first. She copied me on all communications with the other parties counsel so I always knew what was happening in my case. I am extremely satisfied with her work and I am extremely satisfied with all of her staff. She has a great team. They were always very nice and got me what I wanted in a timely manner. We are in the final stages of litigation and I am 100% satisfied with how she got the case to this point. I would definitely hire Attorney Sommer Horton again should I ever need an attorney again. I found her rates to be fair for the work she did for me. She is worth it.

Levance "Lee" B., Client

Ms. Horton and her entire team at Horton Law Group have been a life saver while going through an extremely contentious and difficult divorce. Ms Horton has fought for my children and me at every step. She is straightforward, diligent, realistic and someone you can trust. Thank you Sommer, Teresa, and the whole team!

Audrey M., Client

Over the past decade, Sommer Horton and her team at the Horton Law Group have treated me like family and have helped me through multiple legal matters. The entire team has always communicated quickly and efficiently while taking the time to help me thoroughly understand even the most complex legal jargon. They’ve consistently shown empathy and have always made time for me and my family through the process. Sommer Horton is Simply the Best. THANK YOU HORTON LAW GROUP!

Rick R., Client

It is not often that I take the time to compliment a Professional that I felt it was their job to do well to begin with. However, it was a pleasant surprise to deal with someone who went far beyond my expectations and performed as well as you in preparing my Estate Planning. I also appreciate that your billing was as reasonable as it was. Most people expect that “sticker shock” when dealing with Lawyers and Accountants. I found that your knowledge of Finances made it unnecessary for me to incur any further expense for accounting.
Thanks for the great job that you and your staff did.

Ralph B., Client

Serving as a Successor Trustee with several litigation cases pending, having an attorney working diligently for your client is of utmost importance. Sommer Horton was that attorney. Regardless of the nature of the situation, Sommer was there to support and advise not only my client, but myself as well. She and her team worked meticulously to delve into the issues so that our client’s interest was best represented. Her efforts were rewarded with favorable outcomes for our client, that is what we call a win, win. Sommer Horton and the Horton Law Group, P.A. were amazing, I highly recommend them.

Marline L., Client

I have worked with Sommer from Horton law group on several occasions over the past 7 years. She strikes the right balance between aggressive and realistic. Sommer is knowledgeable, confident and unflappable. The perfect team to walk with you through difficult circumstances.

Margarita K, Client
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