Missing Evidence?

MISSING EVIDENCE? YOU MAY BE TO BLAME IF YOU DESTROYED OR EVEN IF MERELY LOST!             When a lawsuit is filed, evidence to prove a point is frequently sought.  What happens when a party to the lawsuit destroyed or lost the evidence?  If the evidence is critical for the other side proving its case, then…

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August 2021

“TOO BUSY TO READ MY EMAIL” ARGUMENT REJECTED BY COURT IN LAWSUIT Inundated with emails?  Emails from friends, from work and from vast unknown unsolicited sources. Yes, times have changed.  No more is there the one delivery in late morning or afternoon, looking at the return addresses on paper envelopes, sorting into stacks of read,…

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2021 Legislative Session

THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION It is still too early to determine which community association bills will be adopted by the Florida Legislature and, of course, which may be vetoed by the Governor.  Though we are a month into the 2021 Legislative Session significant new proposals are making their way into bills, and provisions that were…

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Punitive Damages

PUNITIVE DAMAGES: PUNISHMENT FOR MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPING CONDUCT?  Can a manager subject a Florida community association to punitive damages?  Over landscaping??  For $15 million??? Because an association normally is a corporation, the purpose of punitive damages, to punish, is not always clear cut, and thankfully, few and far between.  But, bad things do happen! Because there…

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Suspension and Termination

New Decision: Suspension and Termination (Voluntary Association) (The Naked Lady Ranch v. Wycoki) Never argue with a naked lady? Lady Godiva may be recalled by the appellant’s name, but punishment for a perceived transgression was a serious issue in Wednesday’s decision, Naked Lady Ranch, Inc. v. Wycoki, Case No. 4D18-2868 (Fla. 4th DCA November 20,…

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New Decision: Fair Debt (Kelly v. Duggan)

New Decision: Fair Debt (Kelly v. Duggan) Michael Gelfand 10/25/2019 Conflict is joined on debt collection! Wednesday, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal certified conflict with the Fifth District Court of Appeal, holding that condominium assessments are consumer debts under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”), §§ 559.55 – .785, Fla. Stat., such that a consumer may…

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WAIVER OF RIGHTS BY SKIPPING ARBITRATION

WAIVER OF RIGHTS BY SKIPPING ARBITRATION In another decision emphasizing the importance of properly interpreting Florida community association documents, the question arose as to what happens when a homeowners’ association fails to timely submit a dispute to mediation or arbitration? A Florida appellate court ruled that an Association waived its claim against a homeowner where…

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Waiver of Claims (Guan v. Ellingsworth Residential C.A.)

Highlighting the hidden dangers in lengthy covenant enforcement provisions, the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed the interplay between a covenant’s alternate dispute resolution requirement and the Homeowners’ Association Act’s mandatory pre-suit mediation procedures in § 720.311 Fla. Stat. (2015), in Guan v. Ellingsworth Residential Community Ass’n, Inc., Case No. 5D18-3633 (Fla. 5th DCA, August 23, 2019). BACKGROUND…

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