Covid-19 State of Emergency Extended Amid Phase 2 Reopening

Covid Mask

          By recent order of Governor DeSantis, Florida’s state of emergency due to COVID-19 has been extended to the beginning of November 2020. In part, this means that homeowners’ associations and condominium associations continue to be able to utilize emergency powers pursuant to Fla. Stat. §720.316 and Fla. Stat. §718.1265 respectively. Notably, among other emergency powers, is associations’ emergency power to determine that portions of association property are unavailable for entry, use, or occupancy. As such, this emergency power allows associations to keep facilities closed or to reopen them subject to limitations upon use and/or access.           Furthermore, despite what state and local governments may be permitting in terms of reopening public facilities and businesses, because of associations’ statutory emergency powers and the continuing state of emergency, there is no requirement that associations reopen association facilities at this time. In addition, those associations that choose to reopen association properties may elect to do so in a way that is more restrictive (but not less restrictive) than what is required by applicable government reopening orders.           In terms of current reopening orders, note that Palm Beach County has just entered Phase 2 of reopening after being in Phase 1 since May 11, 2020. Some salient aspects of Phase 2 which are likely to be germane to associations are as follows: CDC social distancing guidelines as well as CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines remain in effect.Mandates on wearing facial coverings remain in effect and unchanged by entry into Phase 2.Restaurants and food establishments including clubhouses, banquet halls, and ballrooms may increase indoor service up to 50% seating capacity, bar top meal service may be resumed, and parties of no more than ten people will be permitted provided that separate parties are spaced at least six feet apart from each other.Restaurants and food establishments may be open for dining at all times except between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Take out and delivery services are permitted after dining hours.Spas, acupuncture establishments, massage establishments, gyms, and fitness centers may resume operating at full...

Continue reading
  417 Hits

Sachs completes 10 years of service on the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council

State of Florida

Download PDF File Here

  210 Hits

March 10, 2021 Sachs Sax Caplan at the PM-Expo, Palm Beach County

pm expo
steve and michael
afternoon class

          Sachs Sax Caplan participated in the PM-Expo at the South Florida Fairgrounds on March 10, 2021. This was one of the first in-person trade shows since the Covid-19 pandemic took over the globe. It was great to get out and see our property managers, community association boards and homeowners association boards. Attorneys Steven Rappaport and Michael Chapnick led a Condo/HOA Board Certification class to discuss relevant governing documents and amendments, elections, reserves, official records and how associations should operate during Covid-19. Those in attendance received a certificate of completion. Later in the day, Attorney Steven Rappaport delivered a Legal Update on new and updated legislation and its effects. Being in-person (safely) has its perks, and we were glad we could connect with current and potential clients at the expo. Looking forward to the next events whether they are virtual or in-person.

  223 Hits

Three Attorneys Elevated from Senior Counsel to Principal

b2ap3 small New Principals

        BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 16, 2021) – Boca Raton-based law firm Sachs Sax Caplan has announced the elevation of three of their attorneys, Michael Chapnick, Joel Kenwood and Angela Prudenti from the position of Senior Counsel to Principal.         Michael Chapnick is Florida Bar Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Unit Development Law. He represents community associations, advising on all aspects of cluster housing operation, including day-to-day operational issues, collection and lien foreclosures, turnover of control and election issues. Chapnick graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics. He attended the Detroit College of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude. He teaches continuing education courses to Florida Community Association Managers, conducts board member certification courses, and speaks on various topics including construction defects, real estate and condominium disputes, white collar criminal law, covenant enforcement, and occupancy screening issues.          Joel Kenwood is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation Law. He is also Certified as a Circuit Court Civil Mediator by the Florida Supreme Court. His practice includes business related litigation involving real estate, construction defects, corporate disputes and general commercial litigation law. He also handles matters involving personal injury. He is a past President of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Stanford, California. He attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and received his Juris Doctor from The American University College of Law in Washington, D.C.         Angela Prudenti concentrates her practice in commercial litigation. Prior to joining Sachs Sax Caplan, Prudenti was Chief of the White Collar Crime Unit at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office in West Palm Beach. She also previously held the position of senior trial attorney in the Homicide/Crimes against Children Unit at the State Attorney’s Office. She received her Bachelor of Arts at The American University in Washington, D.C., and her Juris Doctor from Temple University.          ...

Continue reading
  600 Hits

Boca Attorney Helps Coordinate an Interfaith Vaccine Initiative

b2ap3 small 4

        BOCA RATON, Florida – On March 3rd more than 500 South Palm Beach County residents and workers received Covid-19 vaccines at an interfaith initiative hosted on the Temple Beth El campus in Boca Raton.  Nearly 20 religious organizations, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Boca Raton Police Department and local teachers participated.         Daniel Kaskel, a partner with the law firm of Sachs Sax Caplan, and Vice President of the Boca Raton Synagogue, began working on this event in mid-January, 2021. “In January, vaccines were very scarce, particularly in Palm Beach County,” advises Kaskel.  “I reached out to nearly every elected official and state and local government agency to create a POD, a point of distribution, to help the seniors in my synagogue obtain vaccines.”         In early February, Mr. Kaskel heard back from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the agency tasked with creating PODs.  He was advised that the DEM was inundated with such requests and could not accommodate each one.  Kaskel then asked if the DEM would elevate the request if he presented an interfaith initiate comprised of a synagogue, church and mosque.  The answer was an encouraging YES.         In the few weeks that passed, a significant number of the senior population of Boca Raton Synagogue had fortunately received vaccines, so Kaskel turned to Temple Beth El. “Within a day I received a call from Rita Diamond, Temple Beth El’s Director of Operations.  They were very excited about the opportunity to not only provide vaccinations their seniors, but to invite other houses of worship to join,” recounts Kaskel.         Rabbi Greg Weisman of Beth El invited the Islamic Center of Boca Raton and Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church to partner in the event.  Kaskel presented a proposal to the DEM in mid-February, and the event was quickly approved, with a March 3rd date and an anticipated 500 doses. Among the DEM’s requirements was that vaccines could only be administered to individuals who qualify under state guidelines, no walk-ins were permitted, and the...

Continue reading
  174 Hits

April is Fair Housing Month


        April is #NationalFairHousingMonth!             This year, we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. This landmark law was signed into law on April 11, 1968, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and family status. The Act furthers the beliefs advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the other heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.           “Fair Housing Month is a time to recommit to our nation’s obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to safe, affordable housing,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Unfortunately, housing discrimination still exists, from individuals and families being denied a place to call home because of the color of their skin or where they come from, to landlords refusing to allow persons with disabilities to keep assistance animals, to individuals being denied a place to live because of who they love. In this moment of unprecedented crisis, fair housing is more important than ever. 53 years after the Fair Housing Act was signed, our journey to justice in housing continues.”For more information on Fair Housing from HUD, click here.   

  470 Hits

Boca Raton Attorney Joins Palm Beach County Sports Commission Board of Directors

Palm Beach County Sports Commission Logo

            Boca Raton, Florida - The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has appointed Larry Schner as member of the Board of Directors. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (with a focus on the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities.             Larry is currently a partner at Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. in Boca Raton, Florida. Larry joined Sachs Sax Caplan on December 1, 2016 after maintaining his own practice of Larry E. Schner, P.A. for twenty-five years in Boca Raton. Mr. Schner practices in the area of Community Associations Law, representing condominium and homeowners throughout Broward and Palm Beach County. He has extensive experience in this area and has represented hundreds of associations since his admission into the Florida Bar in 1985.             Sachs Sax Caplan is a full-service Florida law firm. Practice areas include Community Association Law, Estate Planning & Probate Litigation, Commercial Litigation & Appeals, Real Estate, Corporate & Land Use, and Governmental Law & Lobbying.             Larry is very eager to serve on the board of directors for the commission. He is excited to assist in planning and organizing events in the county for professional and amateur athletes. He hopes it will help improve and support the commissions goal of increasing tourism especially now that there is a better handle on the pandemic.               Larry has always had an affinity for sports. He played college basketball at Northwestern University. Decades ago, he helped put together the first exhibition game with the Miami Heat and the Seattle Supersonics that took place at FAU. Previously, he has been President of the Blue and White Club at Lynn University as well as the Owl Club at FAU. The love of sports has been passed down...

Continue reading
  432 Hits

Community Association Law 2019


New 4th DCA decision discussing the proper application of the “Business Judgment Rule” in community associations, and involving our client, Homeland Property Owners Association, Inc.

  827 Hits

Is Coronavirus a Force Majeure Event?


By Jeffrey Wolfe, Esq., Attorney at Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. As the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic expands, we are receiving an increasing number of calls from clients as to whether COVID-19 provides an excuse for nonperformance under a contract (mostly in the context of purchase agreement, leases and business contracts). As is the case of most legal questions, there is no general answer, it depends upon the facts. Some contracts have a “force majeure” clause which excuses a party’s performance for certain events that are not within a party’s control, such as Acts of God, terrorism, and war. Whether COID-19 qualifies as a force majeure event will depend on the wording in the agreement, as well as the surrounding facts. Parties need to be careful not to declare force majeure if their agreement does not contractually entitle them to do so as such action could constitute a breach of contract. Please contact our firm with any questions or concerns. We would be happy to assist you in determining whether COIVD-19 qualifies as a force majeure event under your agreement.

  539 Hits

Business Interruption Insurance


Business interruption insurance, like all coverage, is technical in nature. It is intended to cover interruption from certain perils and in most instances, it addresses physical damage to a property or business which locks you out or makes it impossible for you conduct the business. Unfortunately, the SARS outbreak from 2002/2003 put the insurance companies on notice about the possibility of an interruption to business based on a pandemic and infectious disease outbreaks as a cause were often exempted from coverage in most generally offered business insurance policies. However, all may not be lost. You will have to examine your policy carefully to see if there is coverage for interruption by civil or military authority. Thus, you would argue that it was not the coronavirus that caused the interruption, but the federal or state executive order to close your business. However, there is nothing you can take to the bank concerning your policy’s coverage on quick review. The policy must be studied. It may have limits on the length of coverage, sometimes as little as 14 days. It will undoubtedly have limits as to a Dollar amount. There may be waiting periods before a claim can be made. It is time to take out your insurance policies and have them carefully considered. If you believe you have a claim, and need some assistance with the highly technical language, please feel free to contact us.

  555 Hits

Association Emergency Powers

Condo Association

Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency due to novel coronavirus. This has triggered the availability of statutory emergency powers to condominium associations and homeowners’ associations. Although the applicable statutory sections were clearly written with natural disasters in mind, the majority view of association law practitioners appears to be that emergency powers are now available. However, because condominium associations and homeowners’ associations are unaccustomed to utilizing emergency powers and, in many cases, are unfamiliar with them, many communities have been slow to avail themselves of benefits of the use of such powers. Nevertheless, emergency powers are expressly limited to times when the use of such powers are “reasonably necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare” of residents and may not be abused. If an association has any questions about the use of emergency powers, it is recommended to contact legal counsel and obtain advice. As the state of emergency is likely to continue for some time, associations will likely have ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with available emergency powers and to make use of them.

  591 Hits

Smaller Business Relief Available in The State of Florida

Small Business

The purpose of this article is to try to bring together the possible loans, grants and other relief for small businesses throughout Palm Beach County. We are trying to bring clarity to what has become a blizzard of forms, filings and verifications. So, this is scratching of the surface, but we must all start somewhere. I. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program As part of its disaster assistance program, and unlocked under the Stafford Act, the SBA is providing low-interest working capital loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus in presidential and SBA-declared disaster areas. Florida is now a disaster area. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. Business with credit available elsewhere are not eligible . I think it is fair to say that credit is most likely not available to any restaurant, bar, hotel or other tourist oriented business in Palm Beach County. However, this requires further research. There are loans available to non-profits. An interesting questions is whether this includes homeowners and condominium associations so important to our area. This will require further research. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. These loans offer long-term repayments plans, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Application may be made online. You will need to supply required supporting documentation that could include the business’s most recent tax returns, a personal financial statement and a schedule of liabilities that lists all your current debts. There is a help line: SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) but expect long delays. For additional information, email is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. II. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program There is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-1 a small business emergency bridge loan. All Florida counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended...

Continue reading
  592 Hits

Disaster Loan Assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration

Loan Assistance

In the midst of this global crisis, we are pleased to announce confirmation that Florida condominium and homeowners’ associations, in addition to small businesses and other not for profit corporations, are eligible to receive Disaster Loan Assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the impact of the Coronavirus on your associations and businesses. The SBA offers loan terms of up to thirty years, with interest rates for not for profit corporations at 2.75% and for small businesses at 3.75%. The attorneys and staff of Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. stand ready, willing, and able to assist Florida condominium and homeowners’ associations, Florida not for profit corporations, and Florida small businesses in compiling and filing the applications and supporting documentation necessary to secure such assistance.

  583 Hits

Hurricane Season Is Upon Us-Is your Association Ready?

Hurricane

By: Lindsay E. Raphael, Esq., Senior Counsel, Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. The heart of hurricane season is quickly approaching---the full season runs from June 1 to November 30th. Year after year we all hear news reports about how this hurricane season is going to be the most active yet and then if we are lucky, we have a relatively quiet season and if we are really lucky, South Florida is temporarily spared. The problem is people become immune to hearing about how important it is to be prepared and then they are annoyed because after preparing for a hurricane, the hurricane may turn and not hit our area. Complacency is dangerous. It is better to be prepared and spared then to be unprepared and hit with a hurricane (or a tropical storm). The association’s board of directors is responsible for making sure the association’s property is prepared for a hurricane, owners have the responsibility to make sure their own property is prepared and that no loose objects are left outside. While every association has some exposure to a hurricane, disaster planning has the potential and probability of saving lives and minimizing damage. Below are 8 tips to help you prepare for a hurricane: Insurance Policies: Make sure the association’s insurance policies (including windstorm and flood insurance) are in place prior to the start of hurricane season. Secure copies of all current insurance policies along with the contact information of the association’s insurance companies and agents so that in the event the building sustains damage the association has access to this important paperwork.Disaster Plan: The association should have a disaster plan that is ready to be implemented if necessary.Safeguarding Important Documents; Make Copies of your Business Records: The documents that should be safeguarded and copied include, without limitation, the governing documents, insurance policies, bank account numbers, statements, checks, assessment payment history, minutes, approvals, unit owner roster, emergency contact information, vendor information lists, etc. This information should be kept in a place the association can retrieve after the storm.Backup Computer Files: Be sure that computer files essential to running the HOA or condominium...

Continue reading
  839 Hits

July 2019 New York Law Journal, "If You Love Me Let Me Go: Tips on Establishing Florida Domicile" by Daniel A. Kaskel

Published in the July 10 issue of the New York Law Journal, board certified attorney Daniel Kaskel's article "If You Love Me Let Me Go: Tips on Establishing Florida Domicile," highlights challenges, rewards and nuances of establishing residency in the state of Florida for high net worth clients who currently reside in high-taxed states. Mr. Kaskel chairs the Real Estate, Corporate, Land Use & Financial Services Group and holds board certifications in Real Estate Law and Condominium & Planned Development Law. Please visit Mr. Kaskel's bio page for more information on his legal career.

  911 Hits
TFB

 

Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. is proud to be recognized by The Florida Bar for our commitment to hiring and developing Board Certified Attorneys.