Claims Against POA Become DOA
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a large Property Owners Association located in Fort Myers, Florida. The lawsuit was filed against the POA by three of the condominium associations that represent the 220-condominium unit owner members of the POA.
The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the POA, attempting to invalidate a 1988 amendment to the POA’s Articles of Incorporation that enabled it to charge more in annual assessments to its 650 condominium/homeowners for over 29 years than what the plaintiffs believed were/are permissible. The suit also sought reimbursement of 29 years of overpaid assessments. The plaintiffs sought to directly and then indirectly invalidate the 1988 amendment as being improperly executed by the developer.
Following the close of discovery, both sides moved for summary judgment. The defense argued that the claims raised by the plaintiffs were barred by Florida’s five-year statute of limitation, which prevented the plaintiffs from challenging any amendments to the POA’s governing documents. The court agreed with the defense on both points.
This is a substantial victory for the POA in that, not only does the POA keep the money it collected for the past 29 years, but it can continue to do so unless the POA amends its governing documents. As the prevailing party, the POA, by statute and its governing documents, is entitled to recover its attorneys fees and costs.