De Soleil South Beach Residential Condominium Association, Inc., Appellant,
De Soleil South Beach Association, Inc., etc., et al., Appellees.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower
Tribunal No. 16-22052, Jose M. Rodriguez, Judge.
Monestime Firm, and Regine Monestime; Law Offices of Jason
Gordon, P.A., and Jason Gordon (Hollywood), for appellant.
Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A., and Richard Sarafan
and Michael Bild; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff
& Sitterson, P.A., and Jason S. Koslowe, Joshua A. Munn,
and Olivia Sanchez, for appellees.
EMAS, C.J., and SCALES and HENDON, JJ.
Soleil South Beach Residential Condominium Association, Inc.
("the Condominium Association") appeals the trial
court's entry of summary judgment and dismissal of the
declaratory action below in favor of De Soleil South Beach
Association, Inc. ("the Master Association"), South
Beach Resort Development, LLC ("the Corporate
Developer"), and Louis Taic ("the Individual
Developer") upon a determination that the Condominium
Association lacked standing to sue the parties by failing to
satisfy a condition precedent contained in the Declaration of
reverse in part, holding that the trial court erred in
concluding that the Master Association had standing to
assert, as an affirmative defense, the condition precedent
contained in the Condominium Association's governing
Declaration. However, because the condition precedent could
be asserted by the Individual Developer and the Corporate
Developer, we affirm the trial court's summary judgment
entered in their favor. We also find no abuse of discretion
in the trial court's denial of the Condominium
Association's request for a stay or abatement.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
2006, the Individual and Corporate Developers completed the
condominium's building structure that is today operated
in part by the Condominium Association. The Individual
Developer and the Corporate Developer then recorded a Master
Declaration, thereby creating the entity Master Association.
They also recorded a Condominium Declaration, thereby
creating the Condominium Association. These documents
describe the condominium's building facilities as
comprised of three parcels: the garage parcel; the
first-floor commercial parcel; and the condominium parcel of
units owned and inhabited by residents.
terms of its governing document, the Master Association's
board consists solely of the owners of these three parcels:
the Corporate Developer, as owner of both the garage
and commercial parcels, and the Condominium
Association, an entity governed by a board and a membership
consisting of the owners of eighty condominium units. The
Corporate Developer owns twelve of the eighty units and is,
therefore, a member of the Condominium Association. Under its
governing document, the Condominium Association is
responsible for the collection of certain assessments on
behalf of the Master Association. The Individual Developer is
not a member of the Master Association or the Condominium
Association, but an owner and officer of the Corporate
Developer and past member of the Condominium
Association's board, whose standing is conceded by the
Condominium Association to be the same as that of the
2016, the Condominium Association sought declaratory judgment
and other relief against the Master Association, the
Corporate Developer, and the Individual Developer, arguing
that the Individual and Corporate Developers structured the
platting and governing documents of the Master Association
and the Condominium Association in such a way as to avoid
compliance with Florida's Condominium Act. The
complaint's gravamen was primarily that the Master
Association had, pursuant to a recent amendment of its
governing document, given itself power to directly levy and
collect assessments from the Condominium Association's
members, reaching around the Condominium Association's
purportedly exclusive statutory and contractual power to do
so. In light of the Master Association's three-votes
board, two of which votes were currently in the Corporate
Developer's and the Individual Developers' hands, the
Condominium Association's powers were allegedly at the
mercy of entities that did not represent condominium owners.
Master Association moved for summary judgment on the
Condominium Association's operative complaint, asserting
that the Condominium Association lacked standing to sue,
since it had failed to obtain a three-fourths, authorizing
vote by its members, pursuant to its own governing
declaration, a purported condition precedent. The Corporate
Developer also filed a motion for summary judgment, but
failed to include the authorizing vote issue. The Individual
Developer orally joined the Corporate Developer's motion.
Opposing the motions, the Condominium Association
unsuccessfully responded that the authorizing vote was not a
condition precedent and, even if it was, a stay-not a
dismissal-was required, since it did not operate as a bar in
favor of the Master Association, which is not a member of the
Condominium Association. Explicitly finding that neither the
Corporate nor Individual Developer actually joined the
argument, the trial court nevertheless found ...