Hunters Run Property Owners v. Centerline Real Estate, LLC
The firm has struck another blow in support of the right of homeowners’ associations to enact and enforce mandatory country club membership requirements for their members.
The Atlanta-based Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a complex, 22-page opinion written by Circuit Judge Robert Luck of Miami, affirmed a federal trial court decision in the Southern District of Florida that the exclusive Hunters Run Country Club in Delray Beach had every legal right to enforce its mandatory country club membership provision.
The decision was rendered in Case No. 20-11800, Hunters Run Property Owners Association, Inc. v. Centerline Real Estate, LLC. It was the latest of a number of cases across Florida in which unit owner-members of a country club community have brought lawsuits attacking provisions in the declaration of covenants and restrictions requiring homeowners to join their country club. SSC has always been out front in support of homeowners associations in residential communities that require mandatory membership in the country clubs that are within the community.
In the March 30 Hunters Run case, SSC principal Robert Rivas, a Florida Bar Board Certified Expert in Appellate Practice, conducted the litigation in both the trial and appellate courts. Notably, Rivas was also lead counsel almost a decade ago in another major appellate precedent establishing the legal propriety of mandatory country club membership provisions. In Harris v. Aberdeen Prop. Owners Ass’n, Inc., 135 So. 3d 365 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014), an appeal Rivas conducted, the Fourth District Court of Appeals of Florida held that a challenge to a provision in a common interest community’s declaration of covenants and restrictions must be filed before the expiration of a five-year statute of limitations. The Harris case involved a mandatory membership amendment and its precedent has been used again and again in untimely attacks on such provisions.
Robert Rivas is a Principal in the Tallahassee office of Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. Previously Mr. Rivas had a career as an award-winning reporter and editor for major newspapers before he entered law school in 1988. He made Law Review and graduated summa cum laude from Nova Law Center in 1991.
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