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Tallahassee Dispute Over State Office Lease Goes To Appeals Court

Golden scales of justice, books, Statue of Lady Justice. Owl and paragraph
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Tallahassee's Koger Executive Office Center is at the center of the case.

A real-estate firm has gone to an appeals court in a dispute about whether the state owes it more than $1.4 million after vacating space in a Tallahassee office park.

Tallahassee Corporate Center, LLC, filed a notice Tuesday of taking the case to the 1st District Court of Appeal after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled against the firm in May.

The case, at least in part, stems from a “master lease” that a predecessor company to Tallahassee Corporate Center entered in 2004 with state agencies for space at the Koger Executive Office Center.

Cooper’s May 3 ruling said Tallahassee Corporate Center contended it was owed $937,009 for space that the Department of Education vacated in 2011 and $522,135 for space that the Department of Financial Services vacated in 2017.

But Cooper ruled that the master lease, which expired in 2019, violated a section of state law and, as a result, was void. Cooper said the Department of Education, the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Management Services, which oversees state property issues, were shielded from the lawsuit by sovereign immunity.

As is common, the notice of appeal does not detail arguments that Tallahassee Corporate Center will make at the appeals court.