Q: Our Association received a subpoena to provide copies of leases in connection with a divorce. I thought these documents were private. Do we need to provide them?
T.W., Vero Beach
A: Most likely, yes. Without being familiar with the facts of the case or whether litigation counsel followed the proper procedures, the general rule is that you would need to provide non-privileged documents in response to a subpoena. In this context, you are correct that the lease may be a private document in the Association’s custody when an owner makes a request to inspect the Association’s official records, but the statute which governs official records does not restrict a litigant’s ability to obtain discovery in litigation under the Florida rules of civil procedure and applicable discovery law. Thus, I would recommend you run this by your legal counsel, but neither the condominium nor HOA statutes would allow you to withhold these documents from a proper subpoena.
John C. Goede Esq. is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. T o ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.