By Jan Bergemann

Published October 5, 2018


Florida statutes 720.311 requires PRESUIT mediation before the parties can go to court. The statutes state in detail what kind of disputes require presuit mediation procedures.


See FS 720.311(2)(a)  Disputes between an association and a parcel owner regarding use of or changes to the parcel or the common areas and other covenant enforcement disputes, disputes regarding amendments to the association documents, disputes regarding meetings of the board and committees appointed by the board, membership meetings not including election meetings, and access to the official records of the association shall be the subject of a for presuit mediation served by an aggrieved party before the dispute is filed in court….


The idea was great and during the meetings of the HOA TASK FORCE all kinds of promises were made that mediation would be a feasible solution at low expense.


For the detailed process of Presuit Mediation please go to: HOAMEDIATION


Well, intentions are often good, but reality is a little different. We all know that mediation only works if both parties approach mediation in good faith, meaning that they are willing to find a peaceful solution.


But make no mistake: Quite a few of the so-called specialized attorneys are using mediation to increase their legal billing and are just dragging out the procedures for a few more hours, never intending to settle the dispute in the first place.


Some of these attorneys are just using it to bleed the owner financially dry – with no willingness to settle in the first place.


Here is the warning for owners: Participate in presuit mediation as required by law, but make sure that the chosen mediator has only a 1-hour requirement. Most of these disputes should be settled within one hour. If you get the feeling that the lengthy talk is only serving the purpose of dragging out the procedures, cut the process short and have mediation declared moot. Remember: You nee your money later on in court!


Mediation sounds good, but don’t fall into the trap of lengthy talk without getting anything achieved.

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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:

Educational Website:

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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