Biza, Corporation, d/b/a Galway Bay Mobile Home Park, Appellant,
Galway Bay Mobile Homeowners Association, Inc., Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from non-final orders from the Circuit Court for
Monroe County Lower Tribunal No. 17-0166-M, Mark H. Jones,
Bobo & Telfair, P.A., and David D. Eastman and Carol S.
Grondzik (Tallahassee), for appellant.
Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert, and Alexis
Fields (Ft. Lauderdale), for appellee.
FERNANDEZ,  SCALES, and LINDSEY, JJ.
appeal arises out of a dispute between Appellee Galway Bay
Mobile Homeowners Association (the "Association")
and Appellant Biza, Corp., the owner of the Galway Bay Mobile
Home Park. Biza appeals (1) the trial court's order
denying its motion for summary judgment and (2) the trial
court's order denying its motion to certify class. For
the reasons set forth below, we dismiss the appeal with
respect to the order denying Biza's motion for summary
judgment for lack of jurisdiction. And we affirm the order
denying Biza's motion for certification because actions
brought by mobile homeowners' associations under Florida
Rule of Civil Procedure 1.222 are not subject to the class
certification requirements of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
underlying dispute stems from Biza's attempt to raise the
lot rent for mobile homeowners by 18%. This dispute is
governed by the Florida Mobile Home Act, Chapter 723, Florida
Statutes (2019). Pursuant to section 723.037, which sets
forth a mandatory pre-suit dispute resolution process, a
majority of the mobile homeowners designated a five-member
negotiating committee to meet with and discuss the dispute
with Biza. A majority of homeowners also signed a Statement
of Dispute, contesting the reasonableness of the rental
amount increase. After the negotiating committee failed to
resolve the dispute, a majority of the homeowners signed a
petition to initiate mediation through the Department of
Business and Professional Regulation.
the parties worked to resolve the dispute, 50 out of the 68
mobile homeowners agreed, in writing, to form the Galway Bay
Mobile Homeowners Association. These homeowners agreed to be
"bound by the provisions of the articles of
incorporation and bylaws of the [A]ssociation." Both the
Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws explicitly state
that the Association was organized to represent the mobile
homeowners "in all matters relating to Chapter 723 of
the Florida Statutes (the 'Florida Mobile Home
13, 2017, the Association filed a three-count complaint on
the homeowners' behalf, alleging unreasonable rental
amount increase, failure to maintain common areas, and
violation of the obligation of good faith. The complaint was
brought pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.222,
which allows a mobile homeowners' association to
"institute, maintain, settle, or appeal actions or
hearings in its name on behalf of all homeowners concerning
matters of common interest . . . ."
answer and affirmative defense, Biza asserted the Association
lacked standing for failing to strictly comply with section
723.037(1), Florida Statutes, which provides, in pertinent
part, as follows:
The homeowners' association shall have no standing to
challenge the increase in lot rental amount . . . unless a
majority of the affected homeowners agree, in writing, to
also filed a motion to certify class and a motion for summary
judgment based on the ...