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Mandatory Registration with the DBPR Begins for Florida HOAs

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently launched a website where HOAs must register certain information about their associations. Newly passed legislation requires an HOA’s community association manager or management firm (or the HOA where there is no community association manager or management firm) to register with the Department and provide information about the HOA before November 22, 2013. The Department will use the information provided to prepare an annual report that will be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Department will prepare annual reports containing this information until the reporting requirement ends in 2016 (unless reenacted by the Legislature).

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Categories: Homeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsJoshua D. KrutFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawDepartment of Business and Professional Regulation
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

House Bill 319 : The Merging of Mitigation Standards for Traditional Transportation Concurrency and Alternative Mobility Funding Programs

In recent years, local governments attempting to address traffic congestion created by new development, and applicants seeking development approval, have encountered a rapidly-changing legislative landscape. House Bill 319 was adopted during the 2013 Legislative session. It builds on the sweeping changes of the 2011 Community Planning Act, that added limits on local governments’ ability to require developers to mitigate their impacts on the local transportation system. House Bill 319 was signed by the governor and became effective on May 30, 2013.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Local Government
Tags: Community Planning ActMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysJohanna M. Lundgren
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Johanna M. Lundgren

Senate Bill Aims to Attract International Disputes to Florida Courts

Earlier this year, State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla introduced a bill that would allow international disputes to be handled in Florida. CS/SB 186 addresses personal jurisdiction in the Florida courts.

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Categories: LitigationCivil ProcedureAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsAlternative Dispute ResolutionMediationFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Litigation AttorneyRoger S. KobertMarc C. Pugliese
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

House Bill 7019 Permit Extensions Give Zombie Projects Another Chance At Life

In recent years, a series of legislative development permit extensions have enabled developers to keep previously-approved development orders and building permits alive despite economic conditions that resulted in stalled development throughout the state. Although Florida’s real estate market is now steadily recovering, the Legislature offered additional relief to qualifying developers that have been unable to complete previously-permitted projects within their expiration period.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Local GovernmentLand Use & Zoning (Private)
Tags: Municipal GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanGilberto PastorizaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawJohanna M. Lundgren
Author(s): Johanna M. Lundgren

Ethics Reform – A Primer for 2013

Ethics reform was one of the highest priorities on the legislative agenda this year in Tallahassee. The bill that eventually became law makes rather significant changes to Florida’s ethics statute (Chapter 112.313) and several changes will impact local elected officials.

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Categories: Local GovernmentEthics & Professional Responsibility
Tags: Municipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysRobert Meyers
Author(s): Robert Meyers

Florida Legislators Consider Changes to Existing Foreclosure Laws

For the third time since 2010, Florida lawmakers introduced a bill designed to accelerate the foreclosure process in the state. House Bill 87, otherwise known as the "Fair Foreclosure Act,” offers a number of changes to civil procedures in foreclosure cases, including limiting discovery time available to owners and requiring lenders to file the original note or certification that they have the note. The bill makes these changes retroactively, so pending cases would be affected as by the legislation. Proponents of the Fair Foreclosure Act argue that it provides community associations with leverage against banks that file foreclosure lawsuits against delinquent owners and then fail to litigate the case aggressively. By speeding up the foreclosure process, they argue, the Fair Foreclosure Act helps community associations get rid of delinquent owners who incur massive arrearages during the pendency of a long foreclosure process. Detractors counter that the bill does not incentivize the banks to prosecute a foreclosure aggressively, and that most of the changes place too great a burden on homeowners.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsCivil Procedure
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Division of Retirement Letters Signal Changes to Interpretation Regarding Use of Tax Revenues to Fund Pensions

Recently, the Florida Division of Retirement (the “Division”) issued letters to the Cities of Naples and Hollywood concerning those Cities’ eligibility for and use of future premium tax revenues to fund their respective police and fire pension obligations under Chapters 175 and 185, Florida Statutes. These letters reflect an important change to the Division’s previous position concerning a municipality’s eligibility for and use of premium tax revenues.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingRaquel ElejabarrietaBrett J. SchneiderFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

The Red Light Camera Diaries: Florida Supreme Court to Determine Whether Programs Preempted by State Law

The Florida Supreme Court will hear cases from the Third and Fifth District Court of Appeal to determine the legality of red light camera ordinances in Aventura and Orlando. The Third and Fifth Districts issued conflicting opinions on whether the red light cameras circumvented Florida’s Uniform Traffic Control Law. In Aventura v. Masone, the Third District ruled that the City of Aventura’s red-light camera program was a valid and enforceable program that was not preempted by state law. Specifically, the Court found that Aventura properly invoked its broad home rule and police powers to regulate red light camera violations on its own roads through the use of red light camera powers, and to issue citations and collect fines under its code enforcement powers. The Court further found that Chapter 316 did not expressly preempt the City’s police powers in this area of traffic regulation. In City of Orlando v. Udowychenko, the Fifth District held that the city’s red light camera ordinance expressly and impliedly conflicted with state law because it enforced conduct specifically prescribed by state law.

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Categories: LitigationConstitutional Law
Tags: Red Light CamerasRule EnforcementFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney

House Bill 937: Give Me a Break! (At Least a Little One on Advertising Costs)

Section 50.061, Florida Statutes regulates the amount a publisher of a newspaper can charge local governments for the publishing of any and all official public notices or legal advertisements. The cost of advertisements can vary in price from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for a comprehensive plan amendment and certain government initiated zoning ordinances. Over the last couple of years, the Florida Legislature has considered several different bills that would help to reduce the cost of publishing legal advertisements. On May 4, 2012, the Governor signed House Bill 937 (the “Bill”), which may provide some relief to local governments when publishing an advertisement that requires multiple publications.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Government Affairs
Tags: Chad S. FriedmanSusan L. TrevarthenFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs Attorneys
Author(s): Chad S. Friedman

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Tribal Immunity for Miccosukee in Dram Shop Case

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a lower court decision to dismiss a father’s claim against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe for violating state dram shop laws by knowingly serving excessive amounts of alcohol to his daughter, who subsequently died in a fatal car accident. In Furry v. Miccosukee Tribes of Indians of Florida, the Court held that tribal sovereign immunity barred Furry from bringing suit against the Miccosukee Indians.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsUnited States CongressFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara