The Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers 


Challenge to denial of a documents request by my HOA.

by Barbara
(Lee County)

By my research the correct court to file such an action in (and this would be a request for a declaratory judgement that the law requires that the HOA give me the documents I have requested and an order directing them to do so) would be the Trial Courts Circuit (20th Circuit as I live and the HOA is in Lee County).

I have read the Civil Procedures and my question concerns the Form (Rule 1.900 Forms) that asks me to set out my cause of action. The long list of options offers a Condominium issue (Chapter 718) but does not offer the option of an HOA issue. Nor do any of the categories of types of cases offer a request for the interpretation and application of law. There is no question of fact here. I applied completely in conformity with Chapter 720 rules and my HOA rules for the document. The HOA failed to provide the document. The law 720.303 (5) (c) is quite clear but this Board wishes to say it does not think it has to or does not want to provide the information. I have filed a Demand for mediation which is scheduled for Nov 19. I have little hope any results will come from that so I wish to prepare the paper work to go to court.

So my question is--am I right about the Court in which to file? How do I indicate on the Form asking for cause of action that I am asking for a Declaratory Judgment interpreting Chapter 720.303 (5) (c0?. And finally, I do not see anywhere on these filing forms an option for this sort of request--a Declaratory Judgment and an order to provide the information as the remedy. There is no money involved save the $50/day for 10 days the HOA statute provides which probably explains why this issue has never been litigated. There is no way anyone would pay the hourly fees of an attorney to get this law effectively implemented. The legislature failed to designate any executive agency to implement and enforce this law so without going to court it is a hollow law if the Board decides to ignore it.

I would appreciate direction on where to go to read or inquire about this issue if you have that or answers to my questions if you can do so.

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