WAITING FOR THE CHALLENGE?
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
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
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.
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
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
- 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
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