Monthly Archives: October 2013

Property Insurance Requirements and Responsibilities for Florida’s Condominium Associations

The insurance requirements for condo associations and their unit owners have been codified by the Florida legislature within Section 718.111(11), Florida Statutes. What is important for interested parties to know is that the current Florida Statutes are controlling on the issue of property insurance requirements, regardless of what is contained within a condominium’s declaration or when it was recorded. In fact, the statute’s first sentence explains that, “this subsection applies to every residential condominium in the state, regardless of the date of its declaration of condominium.” Fla. Stat. § 718.111(11) (2013). Section 718.111(11), Florida Statutes, was amended in 2013, and this blog post is to provide interested parties with a high-level overview of the current insurance requirements of Florida’s condominiums and their unit owners. Read Full Post

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Florida Construction Liens: Fraud or Just a Good Faith Dispute

Parties often cry “fraud” when defending against a construction lien recorded on their real property. However, the fraudulent lien card is sometimes overplayed and oftentimes lacks merit, considering the requisite proof to establish a fraudulent lien. The consequences of a fraudulent lien are significant – it is a complete defense to lien enforcement and can result in recovery of punitive damages and compensatory damages against the lienor. Sharrard v. Ligon, 892 So. 2d 1092 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2004). It can also result in the recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs against the lienor. Delta Painting, Inc. v. Baumann, 710 So. 2d 663 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1998). § 713.31, Fla. Stat. The filing of a fraudulent lien is also a third-degree felony. § 713.31(3), Fla. Stat. Read Full Post

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Hurricane Protection Installation and Expenses for Florida’s Condominium Associations

Section 718.113(5), Florida Statutes, governs the installation of various materials for hurricane protection that Florida’s condominium associations must abide by. Section 718.115(1)(e), Florida Statutes, governs the allocation of expenses for the hurricane protection installation. Both of these sections were amended by the Florida legislature in 2013. This blog is to provide a brief overview of the main provisions of these statutes in light of those recent changes. Read Full Post

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Online Voting for Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations: The Florida Legislature is not Keeping Pace With Technology

There is a new trend rising within condominium and homeowners’ associations across the country, including Florida: online association voting. The reason for this trend is simple – it solves two major problems that associations constantly face: 1) the expense of utilizing physical forms; and, 2) poor voter turnout among the associations’ members. Online voting for associations takes the hassle out of the voting process, which improves overall turnout. It appears that allowing association to perform online voting seems a no-brainer. However, not every state legislature has kept pace with technology in this area of law. Florida is one state in which the law is lagging technology as Florida law is currently silent on the issue of association online voting. This presents a problem for a Florida association that wishes to improve the experience of its members while also ensuring it is abiding by the law. Read Full Post

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Basic Differences Between Arbitration and Mediation

By: Christopher M. Cobb, Esq.

Alternative dispute resolution, or “ADR,” comes in many forms. Two of the most commonly used methods of ADR are arbitration and mediation. Both of these ADR vehicles allow for resolution of disputes outside the public forum of the court system. Many people, including sophisticated businesspeople and even attorneys, do not fully understand the differences between the two or how they are used. Knowing the process is vital for obtaining the best result for clients and successfully navigating the dispute resolution arena. Below is a basic description of both ADR methods and how they differ from the other. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog, Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas: , ,

Changes to the Florida Statutes Concerning Financial Reporting for Condominium Associations

The Florida legislature has always given Florida’s condominium associations great flexibility to construct and maintain their own bylaws, rules and regulations in which to govern their communities. In exchange for that flexibility, the Florida Statutes, within Chapter 718, regulate the operation of condominium associations in certain areas. One such area involves the financial reporting requirements of Florida’s condominium associations, which is specifically governed by Section 718.111(13), Florida Statutes. In 2013, the Florida legislature changed and amended a few key aspects of Section 718.111(13), which Florida’s condominium associations must be cognizant of to ensure they remain compliant. Read Full Post

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For Property Owner Actions Against Condo/HOA Associations, the Statute of Limitations Begins to Run Once the Owner Gains Title to the Property.

By: Hans C. Wahl, Esq. On August 21, 2013, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion clarifying when the statute of limitations begins to run for a cause of action that a property owner brings against an association.  … Read Full Post

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Collecting Criminal Restitution Orders In Florida

By: Charles B. Jimerson, Esq.

We are often asked, what, if any, existing legal right in collection does an aggrieved victim have against a defendant who was ordered to pay restitution in a preceding criminal action? In short, an aggrieved party that is either the State or named as a victim in a resulting criminal Restitution Order has an enforceable right to restitution identical to a judgment holder. Being the named victim in the Restitution Order directs the offender to pay restitution for this person’s benefit and the victim is allowed to enforce that right through the civil collection process. To perfect that right, a victim may do many things, including filing a Civil Restitution Lien to attach to property acquired by the offender after the Restitution Order is issued. This Lien lasts for twenty (20) years. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas: ,

Treatment of Post-Petition Expenses in Bankruptcy

By: Kelly A. Karstaedt, Esq.

When a company enters into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the purpose is to reorganize the business so it can manage existing debts and hopefully come out a healthier business. But operations do not stop the day bankruptcy is filed. The business keeps on running, which means expenses continue to accrue after the petition date. So how does the bankruptcy court treat those debts accumulated after the bankruptcy action is filed? Read Full Post

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Florida’s Second DCA: Florida Law Remains That Plaintiffs in Foreclosure Actions Must Have Standing at the Time of Filing Suit

On September 25, 2013, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal issued an opinion regarding a very familiar topic in Florida – a plaintiff’s standing to file and maintain a foreclosure action. In Focht vs. Wells Fargo Bank, the Second DCA upheld the long-established precedent that a plaintiff in a foreclosure action must prove that it had standing at the time it filed the foreclosure complaint in order to maintain the action. 2013 WL 5338048 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013). If plaintiff lacks standing at inception, the defendant can have the case dismissed via summary judgment proceedings. Id. Read Full Post

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