Miami Partners Edward Polk and Haley Kornfield obtained a summary judgment in favor of their client, a 55+ age restricted homeowners’ association in Broward County.
One HOA member/resident complained a neighbor had his son and daughter-in-law, both under the age of 55, living in the community. Plaintiff sued his neighbor and the HOA for failing to enforce the age restriction covenants, seeking a declaratory judgment and an injunction to remove the son and daughter-in-law. Plaintiff also sought attorney fees. Investigation and discovery established Plaintiff was also violating the age restriction covenants, even while complaining of his neighbor. The Plaintiff had previously served as President of the Association and failed to take action against himself and several other violators during his term of office. Faced with these facts, the Board issued the maximum fine to the neighbor violator and imposed other conditions as part of a resolution of the violation, and the neighbor agreed to all terms. Plaintiff asserted the Board had no authority to compromise, and was obligated to file suit to evict the adult son and daughter-in-law. The HOA contended it exercised business judgment by imposing a sanction in lieu of filing a lawsuit in which it would have had a very weak position because of prior selective enforcement of the rule.
The Court granted summary judgment to CSK’s client because it properly exercised its business judgment and because Plaintiff had unclean hands by virtue of his own violations of the age restriction.
The HOA is also entitled to assert a claim for its attorney fees defending the case.
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