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Subject: 720.305(9)(a)/HB841
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HectorR
(Florida)

Posts:37


11/18/2019 7:03 AM  
Hello everyone, can someone please explain to me what this means and how it works?
In Feb.2019 our association held an annual meeting I had 83 out 183 voted needed to serve on the board. There was no quorum and no nominations were needed from the floor. According to the HOA attorney, I lost and therefore the current board members continue to serve on the board. Now that i find this, I'm wondering if
They pulled a fast one on me. Please help me understand the statue below.
Thank you.

Elections - 720.305(9)(a)/HB841 Effective July 1, 2018. If an election of directors is not required because there are not more candidates than there are available seats on the board, and if nominations are not required from the floor, then those candidates that submitted their names to run for the board are automatically seated at the annual membership meeting even if a quorum does not exist.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2761


11/18/2019 7:20 AM  
Take another look at your documents (the Bylaws, which dictate how the association is run, and the election rules are usually there). Are board elections held at the same as the annual meeting? Usually, the quorum for the annual meeting will dictate if there will be a board election, so if there wasn't one for the meeting, the current board members will stay unless another date is set.

Also note the length of the terms for the board members - were any of them up for election this year? If their terms haven't expired, they can only leave if they resign or are recalled, and that doesn't sound like that happened in this case.

As for the people who voted for you, were they at the meeting or sign a proxy indicating you were their choice? Read the proxy carefully - is there language stating the proxy is only to be used to help establish a quorum for the annual meeting and nothing else? If so, you can't use that one as a vote for you. There might also be an issue with the homeowner's eligibility. If he/she is delinquent, your documents may say he/she cannot cast a vote in a board election or run for the board (the proxy may be used to establish quorum, however).

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/18/2019 9:40 AM  
Hector

Was there a Quorum? If not, an election cannot be held and the existing BOD stays in place.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/18/2019 12:24 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 11/18/2019 7:20 AM
Take another look at your documents (the Bylaws, which dictate how the association is run, and the election rules are usually there). Are board elections held at the same as the annual meeting? Usually, the quorum for the annual meeting will dictate if there will be a board election, so if there wasn't one for the meeting, the current board members will stay unless another date is set.

In Florida, that depends. If there are X open seats up for grabs in an election, and "X or less" candidates are running, then there doesn't even need to be an election and the candidates running are automatically seated. The meeting doesn't even require a quorum.

Now if there are X+1 (or more) candidates vying for X open seats, then the meeting must have a quorum and the election must take place at the meeting.

I'm unsure of what Hector means by "I had 83 out of 183 votes needed to serve on the board".
DarrellF
(Florida)

Posts:1


11/20/2019 6:27 PM  
Your HOA attorney seems to think that statue does not apply. You need to consult your own lawyer and/or open an election complaint with Florida's DBPR. You have a limited time to file the complaint.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/20/2019 10:13 PM  
Posted By DarrellF on 11/20/2019 6:27 PM
Your HOA attorney seems to think that statue does not apply. You need to consult your own lawyer and/or open an election complaint with Florida's DBPR. You have a limited time to file the complaint.

Yes, "Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are announced." Probably best to consult an attorney, but if the board declares there was no quorum and therefore no meeting or election took place, then I would guess the 60 day clock starts ticking on the date they announce that the old board members retain their seats. Practically speaking, I'd try to gather the support of other owners ASAP and together maybe pool $1,000 between you to (a) hire an attorney to help you file a petition with the DBPR (not necessarily required but can probably help speed the process along) and (b) pay the arbitration cost of filing. I think it's a few hundred dollars. Keep good records and you stand a good chance of getting the HOA to pay for your legal costs and attorney fees after an arbitration decision goes in your favor.

60 days is a very small window so don't waste any time.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:459


11/21/2019 6:12 AM  
Hector,
Help us out here. I feel like you know your story so you assume we do as well. We don't so in order for you to get good advice we need more details.

How many seats were up for this election?
How many candidates names were on the ballots mailed to the homeowners?
Was your name on the ballot?
How do you know the vote totals?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/21/2019 6:33 AM  
Thus seems pretty clear from FS720.

9) ELECTIONS AND BOARD VACANCIES.—
(a) Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the governing documents of the association. Except as provided in paragraph (b), all members of the association are eligible to serve on the board of directors, and a member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting where the election is to be held; provided, however, that if the election process allows candidates to be nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not required to allow nominations at the meeting. An election is not required unless more candidates are nominated than vacancies exist. If an election is not required because there are either an equal number or fewer qualified candidates than vacancies exist, and if nominations from the floor are not required pursuant to this section or the bylaws, write-in nominations are not permitted and such qualified candidates shall commence service on the board of directors, regardless of whether a quorum is attained at the annual meeting. Except as otherwise provided in the governing documents, boards of directors must be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by eligible voters. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are announced.
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