appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. John C.
H. Abrams of the Law Office of David H. Abrams, Tallahassee,
Owen and William T. Jackson of Dennis, Jackson, Martin &
Fontela, P.A., Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Michael Kelly ("Kelly") challenges the dismissal of
against Julie Duggan ("Duggan") for alleged
violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act
("FCCPA") in an unpaid condominium assessment
dispute. Kelly argues the trial court erred in dismissing the
complaint for failure to state a cause of action because
condominium assessments qualify as "consumer debts"
under the FCCPA. We agree and reverse.
dispute arose between Kelly and Chez Sois Condominium
Association regarding disputed past due
assessments. Kelly, a condominium owner and resident,
contends that Duggan, President of the Association, violated
the FCCPA by locking him out of a storage unit, making public
derogatory statements about him, and disclosing information
about his reputation to a vendor. He further claims he did
not receive notice of a board meeting during which his common
area privileges were considered and eventually suspended.
seeks a declaration that Duggan violated the
FCCPA, an injunction against future
violations, and statutory damages of $1,000 and other
monetary damages under section 559.77(2), Florida Statutes.
Duggan moved to dismiss the complaint citing Bryan v.
Clayton, 698 So.2d 1236 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997), rev.
denied, 707 So.2d 1123 (Fla. 1998), cert.
denied, 524 U.S. 933, 118 S.Ct. 2334, 141 L.Ed.2d 706
(1998), which held that the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act ("FDCPA") and the FCCPAs definition of
"debt" excludes maintenance assessments owed to a
homeowners association. Based on Bryan, the trial
court dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed.
II. Legal Analysis
the question of whether condominium assessments fall within
the purview of the FCCPA as a consumer debt is one of
statutory interpretation, we review the issue de
novo. See Kuria v. BMLRW, LLLP, 101
So.3d 425, 426 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012). The question of whether
the complaint stated a cause of action is one of law, which
is also reviewed de novo. Doe v. Baptist Primary
Care, Inc., 177 So.3d 669, 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015)
(quoting Locker v. United Pharm. Grp., Inc., 46
So.3d 1126, 1128 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010)).
the FCCPA and its federal counterpart, FDCPA, regulate
consumer debt collection in Florida. See § 559.552,
Fla. Stat. (2016) ("Nothing in [FCCPA] shall be
construed to limit or restrict the continued applicability of
the federal [FDCPA] to consumer collection practices in this
state. This part is in addition to the requirements and
regulations of the federal act."). Although both
generally apply to the same conduct, the acts are not
identical. SeeRead v. MFP, Inc., 85 So.3d
1151, 1153 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012). A violation of the FDCPA does
not automatically constitute a violation of the FCCPA.
Id. Because the two acts are not strictly
interchangeable, a plaintiff seeking ...