Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, DeBoest & Cross respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, civil litigation, estate planning and commercial transactions.
Q: I live in a condominium building, and our board of directors tells us that proxies can only be used to vote on certain things, but they won’t tell me what those things are. Can you please help educate me?
M.A., Pompano Beach
A: There are many items that proxies can be used by members to vote on various matters that are brought before the membership. For example, proxies can be used to vote on amendments to the association’s governing documents and waiving or partially funding of reserves. However, proxies cannot be used to vote for members to become Directors of the Board, except if the association has 10 or fewer units, and in that case, the association may, by affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests, provide for different voting and election procedures in its bylaws, which may be by a proxy specifically delineating the different voting and election procedures. Note that a proxy given is effective only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawfully adjourned meetings thereof. Also, a proxy is not valid longer than 90 days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given, and each proxy is revocable at any time at the pleasure of the unit owner executing it. Additionally, Directors are not permitted to vote by proxy. Finally, please note that your community might have specific requirements in connection with using a proxy. For example, proxies might need to be turned in to the Secretary of your association prior to the beginning of the meeting at which it is to be used in order to be effective.
Our condo board told me at their last meeting that I am not allowed to speak for more than 3 minutes at the meeting. Is this correct?
J.S., Deerfield Beach
A: The answer is that it’s possible, but to find out for sure it would require a review of the association’s official records; specifically, any resolutions which have been adopted by your Board of Directors with regard to rules that limit the time each member may speak at a Board meeting. Florida Statutes, Section 718.112(2)(c) provides that the association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements, and it has been determined that limiting the time for each owner to speak on each agenda item to 3 minutes is reasonable. Accordingly, we recommend that you submit an official records request to the association so that you can review any resolutions that have been adopted by the Board with respect to limiting the time each person can speak at a meeting.
Avi S. Tryson, Esq., is Partner of the Law Firm Goede, DeBoest & Cross. Visit www.gadclaw.com or to 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, 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.