By Jan Bergemann

Published February 25, 2022

The fight over e-mails among board members being PUBLIC RECORDS or not has gone in the next round.  This is a fight that is going on since many years and has, in my opinion never been really resolved.

But this fight is now heating up since the new director of the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, Chevonne Christian, ruled in a DECLARATORY STATEMENT that all e-mails dealing with association business between board members, no matter what computer is being used to send or receive are public records.

In my opinion this will definitely not really end the fight. Too many board members and their CAMs and attorneys, have too much to hide and will not give up easily. Only too often important decisions are made by e-mails among board members, community association managers and the association attorney. There will be a lot of liability issues if all these e-mails are suddenly public records and the owners find out what is going on behind closed doors.

Florida still defends board members with the Business Judgment Rule (I acted in good faith!) but many of these e-mails will reveal that these board members knew full well that they violated rules and laws and that will negate the defense using the Business Judgment Rule.

In my opinion it will not last long before a board and their attorney will try to challenge this Declaratory Statement in a court of law. Too much is at stake for many of them.

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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