Friday Florida Law Update

TGIF all, and welcome back for your Florida Law Update before we get our weekends started!  It was a pretty quiet week in Florida’s appellate courts, with most trial court decisions being affirmed without opinion.  I will discuss a case, however, that covers concepts familiar to both Floridians and lawyers —  condominiums and arguments between lawyers over the interpretation of a document! 

In Swain v. Meadows at Martin Downs Homeowners Association, Inc., 2011 WL 1261151 (Fla. 4th DCA April 6, 2011), a pair of condominium unit owners sued to challenge their homeowners association’s act of constructing a 1,920 square foot maintainance facility on a common area adjacent to the recreational grounds.  The Association’s board of directors had approved the construction by a 5-1 vote, but the plaintiffs contended that the condominium declarations required any partition or encumbrance of the common areas to be put to the collective vote of all unit owners, not just the association board.  The trial court disagreed, granting summary judgment to the association based on general verbiage in the declaration placing maintainance and control of the common areas in the hands of the Association.

On appeal, the Fourth DCA reversed, finding that, based on the conflicts in the declaration, material fact issues existed which precluded summary judgment.  The matter was remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.  Interestingly, even though the unit owners also appealed the trial court order’s denial of their cross-motion for summary judgment, the Fourth DCA passed on making the ultimate conclusion of which interpretation of the declaration was correct.  This is surprising since both parties agreed that the governing document was the declaration.  They simply could not agree on how to interpret it!

See you on Monday, folks!


THE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.  NOR DO THEY CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.  They are provided for informational purposes only.  Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. 
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