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

Published July 15, 2023    


Judge Carolyn Bell signed the FINAL JUDGMENT FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS in the record inspection case -- another chapter in the Horror Story of the Boca View Condominium. And the ruling is costly for the association: $232,170.67, for which execution shall issue forthwith. This is just the amount awarded to the “PREVAILING PARTY” – the condo-owners sued by the board of the association for “daring” to demand to inspect the financial records. This should hopefully end a three-year long battle over a record inspection. And make no mistake: That’s the amount awarded to the condo-owner, not including the amount the board had to pay for its own attorneys. With other words: The board of a 72-unit condominium wasted just in this case around half a million dollars of the owners' money trying to hide the financial records of the association.


The big question: WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO HIDE?


The inspection of the records, also ordered by the judge, is moving along very slowly, with the board and CAM coming up with all kinds of excuses to drag out the inspection. Do the owners have to ask for a “CONTEMPT OF COURT” charge in order to finally being able to inspect all the records?


In the Federal case (CASE NO: 9:23-cv-80820-RLR) filed by the board against the unit-owners, the board is trying to buy more time by playing musical chair with their attorneys. John R. Sheppard Jr. from the law firm of Fowler, White, Burnett, P.A. filed a MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL FOR BOCA VIEW CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., AND REQUST FOR EXTENSION OF TIME, trying to buy more time for the board. The owners’ attorney quickly filed DEFENDANTS’ RESPONSE TO DE # 22 (JOHN R. SHEPPARD, ESQ. AND FOWLER, WHITE, BURNETT, P.A.’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW, AND MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME). And it seems that Magistrate Judge William Matthewman is as well running out of patience. His short response to these “games” being played:


PAPERLESS ORDER granting in part and denying in part [35] Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time ("Motion"). Plaintiff seeks an extension of time until July 24, 2023, to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [DE 17]. Plaintiff has sought and obtained a prior extension of time and yet has still failed to file a timely response. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion [DE 35] is GRANTED to the extent that Plaintiff requests an extension of time to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, but DENIED to the extent Plaintiff seeks until July 24, 2023, to do so. Instead, Plaintiff shall have until on or before July 17, 2023, to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. No further extensions to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss shall be afforded Plaintiff absent the most compelling and extraordinary circumstances. The Court intends to address Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [DE 17] expeditiously and will not tolerate any dilatory conduct. Defendants shall be permitted to file a reply within 7 days of Plaintiff's response. Signed by Magistrate Judge William Matthewman on 7/11/2023. (cpe)

The Boca View Condominium Horror Story added another chapter in the board’s attempt to hide the financial records from the owners. How much more association money is this board willing to waste?


Honestly, I have to wonder why all the other owners of this community are willing to see their money wasted in order to avoid the inspection of the records of the last few years? Shouldn't they be interested to see what the board is trying to hide?