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The Florida Senate

2009 Florida Statutes

Obligations of members; remedies at law or in equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights.
Section 720.305, Florida Statutes 2009

720.305  Obligations of members; remedies at law or in equity; levy of fines and suspension of use rights.--

(1)  Each member and the member's tenants, guests, and invitees, and each association, are governed by, and must comply with, this chapter, the governing documents of the community, and the rules of the association. Actions at law or in equity, or both, to redress alleged failure or refusal to comply with these provisions may be brought by the association or by any member against:

(a)  The association;

(b)  A member;

(c)  Any director or officer of an association who willfully and knowingly fails to comply with these provisions; and

(d)  Any tenants, guests, or invitees occupying a parcel or using the common areas.

The prevailing party in any such litigation is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs. A member prevailing in an action between the association and the member under this section, in addition to recovering his or her reasonable attorney's fees, may recover additional amounts as determined by the court to be necessary to reimburse the member for his or her share of assessments levied by the association to fund its expenses of the litigation. This relief does not exclude other remedies provided by law. This section does not deprive any person of any other available right or remedy.

(2)  If the governing documents so provide, an association may suspend, for a reasonable period of time, the rights of a member or a member's tenants, guests, or invitees, or both, to use common areas and facilities and may levy reasonable fines, not to exceed $100 per violation, against any member or any tenant, guest, or invitee. A fine may be levied on the basis of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and opportunity for hearing, except that no such fine shall exceed $1,000 in the aggregate unless otherwise provided in the governing documents. A fine shall not become a lien against a parcel. In any action to recover a fine, the prevailing party is entitled to collect its reasonable attorney's fees and costs from the nonprevailing party as determined by the court.

(a)  A fine or suspension may not be imposed without notice of at least 14 days to the person sought to be fined or suspended and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of at least three members appointed by the board who are not officers, directors, or employees of the association, or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer, director, or employee. If the committee, by majority vote, does not approve a proposed fine or suspension, it may not be imposed.

(b)  The requirements of this subsection do not apply to the imposition of suspensions or fines upon any member because of the failure of the member to pay assessments or other charges when due if such action is authorized by the governing documents.

(c)  Suspension of common-area-use rights shall not impair the right of an owner or tenant of a parcel to have vehicular and pedestrian ingress to and egress from the parcel, including, but not limited to, the right to park.

(3)  If the governing documents so provide, an association may suspend the voting rights of a member for the nonpayment of regular annual assessments that are delinquent in excess of 90 days.

History.--s. 37, ch. 92-49; s. 55, ch. 95-274; s. 2, ch. 97-311; s. 51, ch. 2000-258; s. 20, ch. 2004-345; s. 17, ch. 2004-353; s. 12, ch. 2007-173; s. 8, ch. 2008-202.

Note.--Former s. 617.305.