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Plaintiff seeks contempt in Colony court case

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Colony Unit Owners Carol and Sheldon Rabin have asked a Sarasota County Judge to find the Association of Unit Owners in Contempt of Court for failing to comply with a Final Judgment in the very specific directives that were ordered last month.

The Rabins have asked Sarasota Judge Rochelle Curley to appoint a receiver to assume the operation of The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort Association, because 30 days have elapsed since the May 13 Final Judgment and the conditions imposed have not been met.

The court directed that the defendants prepare and adopt a budget that would pay for the repairs to all of the units at The Colony and further that the Association would submit a cost to repair the units to an operational state.

Judge Curley ruled that the Association had failed in its fundamental fiduciary duty of maintaining the units and she ruled that if the cost report by Karins Engineering and a budget along with a plan for assessments was not submitted to the court, a receiver might be imposed. Association Attorney Jeffrey Warren filed a response on Friday, June 19, in opposition to the request for a receiver and wrote that Karins Engineering has completed half of its inspection of The Colony units and it anticipates the firm will complete its report in the near future.

Warren added that Karins Engineering has also retained an industrial hygienist to report on the mold issues and air quality within the units.

Warren added that this information was included in a motion to put a stay on the Rabins suit, pending the Association’s appeal. Warren also responded that the Colony Board of Unit Owners had prepared a budget for the anticipated repairs recommending an assessment of over $30,000 per unit owner in 2016, and $55,000 per unit owner in 2017, to raise more than $20.5 million.

The Colony Association of Unit Owners will vote later in the summer on whether to fund these reserves. Warren further argued against the appointment of a receiver saying there was no legal basis that the Judge could impose one, since Florida law is very specific in when a receiver is allowed. The court, according to Warren, would have to show that the property is subject to a serious financial loss if it does not impose a receiver and that that threshold has not been met.

In Rabin’s Motion For Contempt, it is argued that the Association has not met the requirements as outlined including the repair budget, nor any allocation to pay attorney fees the court ordered the Association had to reimburse. Rabin’s motion also argues to the Judge that no Board of Director elections have been held since the Spring of 2013, and even in the wake of the Final Judgment there has been no expressed intent to hold the legally required elections.  Rabin’s motion goes on to say that the individual defendants, The Association Board of Directors, are serving without authority since their terms have all expired.

The Rabins through counsel, have contacted and recommend William Sutton as a receiver and property manager within the court’s jurisdiction and have asked the court to enter an order requiring defendants to show why they should not be held in contempt and to appoint Sutton as a receiver to assume the operations of The Association.

“Because the current Board of Directors is serving illegally, and the defendants are acting contrary to the requirements of the final judgment, it has become apparent that a receiver needs to be appointed,” wrote Alan Tannenbaum on behalf of the Rabins.

The matter now rests in Judge Curley’s hands.

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1 Response for “Plaintiff seeks contempt in Colony court case”

  1. Georgie McFarland says:

    The Rabin’s have sure stirred up the pot in which the Colony is in a caldron of flame. No Director election since the spring of 2013 makes me wonder that all of the machinations of this Condominium board might see these Board Member legally personally responsible for monetary damages for their misdeeds.

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