An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published September 13, 2014


We see more and more association boards trying to buy time before a recall is certified. With the help of the association attorney we are seeing recall arbitration filings using pretty frivolous arguments to claim as reasons for not certifying the recall – and to buy time hopefully until the next annual election comes along.


But in reality I don’t blame the recalled board members but the association attorneys who are knowingly use arguments that have been shut down in various older recall arbitration rulings. In my opinion attorneys filing for recall arbitration should minimum familiar with the basic rules of RECALL 101. Isn’t that what they get paid for?


Recently it so happened at the Heron at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc. in Miami .


The board decided not to certify the recall, using pretty lame arguments at the recall meeting. But as soon as I saw the INITIAL RECALL ARBITRATION FILING submitted to the arbitration section of the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes by the association attorney Russell M. Robbins, Esq. I predicted an easy victory for the Owners Voting For Recall. To be honest, I always have to laugh when I see arguments like: “Signatures Do Not Match Exemplars On File.” And so did the arbitrator, considering her responses to petitioner.


In her “ORDER REQUIRING FILING” arbitrator Terri Leigh Jones already challenged the arguments of the association attorney, already citing case law challenging the arguments brought forward in the initial recall filing.


It got even more ridiculous when the attorney for the association asked the arbitrator for more time in order to collect affidavits showing that these folks didn’t sign the petition (See: MOTION FOR ENLARGEMENT OF TIME). In the meanwhile already nine of the ten owners whose signatures were questioned had filed affidavits stating that it actually was their signature. Accordingly, the arbitrator rejected Robbins request for more time.


In the SUMMARY FINAL ORDER the arbitrator clearly rejected all and any arguments brought by association attorney Russell M. Robbins. In no uncertain words she made it clear that all of the arguments used by the association to reject the certification of the recall were bogus.


Arbitrator Jones certified the recall – and the new board of the Heron was seated this week.


The big question: Should the new board actually pay the bill of the association attorney who in my opinion should have known that his arguments would be rejected?


I can assure you: If I would be sitting on the new board I would think twice before paying this legal bill!