final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. John C.
H. Abrams of the Law Office of David H. Abrams, Tallahassee,
Todd Owen and William T. Jackson of Dennis, Jackson, Martin
& Fontela, P.A., Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Michael Kelly ("Kelly") challenges the dismissal of
his complaint 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
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,
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 (1998),
which held that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
("FDCPA") and the FCCPA's definition of
"debt" excludes maintenance assessments owed to a
homeowner's association. Based on Bryan, the
trial court dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed.
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. See Read 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 damages under either the
FDCPA or the FCCPA must allege and prove a violation of the
act actually sued upon. Id. Here, Kelly raises only
a violation of the FCCPA, the state law.
FCCPA provides that no person shall engage in certain
practices while attempting to collect a consumer debt. §
559.72, Fla. Stat. (2016). To recover under the FCCPA, a
plaintiff must first show that the money being collected
qualifies as a "consumer debt." Agrelo v.
Affinity Mgmt. Servs., LLC, 841 F.3d 944, 950 (11th Cir.
2016). The FCCPA defines "debt" or "consumer
any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay
money arising out of a transaction in which the money,
property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the
transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household