FRIVOLOUS RECALL ARBITRATION?
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published September 13, 2014
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.
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?
it so happened at the Heron at the Hammocks Condominium Association, Inc.
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
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
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!