Due Process Procedure
DUE PROCESS PROCEDURE AND FINING COMMITTEE
This document addresses the procedure for fining owners, tenants, guests and other persons who violate the Declaration of Covenants, Bylaws or other Rules as defined in other Board adopted documents of the Association.
Florida statutes and the Dupree Lakes HOA Official documents allow fines to be levied for violations of community standards. This process serves to deter and prevent violations; helps promote timely correction of violations; and provides a means to recover Association costs incurred through the enforcement process. THIS SHALL BE BINDING ON ALL OWNERS, RESIDENTS AND VISITORS OF THE DUPREE LAKES.
Fines are a course of last resort and will be imposed ONLY for blatant disregard of the rules, particularly but not only, when that disregard has negatively impacted property values or is adversely affecting the established common characteristics or interests of the surrounding neighborhood and/or the community as a whole.
- The Board of Directors or its appointed agent is charged with determining whether there is probable cause that any of the provisions of the Declaration, the Bylaws, or the Rules of the Association have been violated.
- The Dupree Lakes HOA Board has directed the contracted management company to detect and categorize NON-compliance with the Associations restrictions, rules and regulations. The management company’s specific responsibilities are:
- Observing and/or receiving verbal and written complaints about violations of general restrictions, rules and regulations;
- Confirming that a complaint is valid;
- Notifying members, verbally or in writing per the Board defined procedure, that they are in non-compliance and the time interval in which compliance is required;
- Ascertain whether the violation has been corrected or not;
- And if not corrected, forward the information to the Board for their review and resolution.
- Fines may be imposed for:
- Violations that have not been corrected after reasonable contact with the resident/homeowner - Class A,
- Repeat violations - Class B,
- Violations where the normal process of notification, as determined by the Board of Directors, would nullify enforcement actions - Class C.
Institution of Fines:
Upon notification of an unresolved violation, the Board of Directors may propose a fine for each day that a violation continues, up to the maximum amount allowed by law for each separate and specific violation, which is $1,000. However, this fine does not become final or collectable, until a hearing has been held by the Fining Committee, a group of Association members.
The Dupree Lakes HOA Board has formally established and in an Open Meeting appointed a committee (The Fining Committee or “FC”) to review fines previously proposed by the Board. The purpose of the FC is to provide any alleged violator an opportunity to be heard by an independent group of community peers. The committee process provides for a open hearing at a time and place where both sides of the issue will be heard, and during which a final decision is rendered with regard to the levy of a proposed fine. The FC consists of three (3) to five (5) persons, which shall be lot owners other than members of the Board or persons related to Board members. (Three members must be present at hearings to constitute a quorum.)
If the Board has not directly appointed a Chairman, or if the Chairman is absent, the Committee shall appoint a Chairman and shall conduct hearings in accordance with the following process and rules, in addition to such other procedures as may be established by the Committee, to hear any charges and defenses.
After consulting with the management company on the originating violation and assuring that due notices have been sent, at an open and properly noticed meeting, the Board of Directors may propose a fine, suspension and/or implement any other approved legal action to enforce the Association’s Rules and the violator shall be notified by regular and certified mail. The notice shall be mailed a minimum of fourteen (14) prior to an opportunity to be heard by the FC and shall include a statement of the matters asserted by the Association, and the proposed fine amount.
At the FC’s sole discretion, it shall hold a meeting/hearing on a properly notified day, time and at a place of its choosing, but only after fourteen days has been provided to any and all members to which the management company has provided the above written notice of the proposed fine and of the hearing date, time, and place.
At the hearing each party shall have these rights:
- to call and examine witnesses,
- to introduce exhibits,
- to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination, and to rebut the evidence against him/her.
Each case shall be heard in public however, if requested by any member who is brought before the committee, and if all committee members in attendance consent, the member allegedly in violation may be heard by the committee privately.The results of any hearing shall however, be reflected in the minutes of the FC meeting, which are public.
The hearing procedure will be as follows:
- A representative of the Association shall be heard first, in order to summarize the basis for the proposed fine, and to present any witnesses or documents in support of the proposed fine.Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule, which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions.
- The alleged violator may then present any witnesses or documents in opposition of the proposed fine any relevant evidence of the same type.
- The committee will then decide to:
- Uphold the proposed fine,
- Reduce the proposed fine,
- Conditionally defer the proposed fine.Failure of the violator to meet the imposed conditions shall result in an immediate cancellation of the deferment.
- After all cases have been heard, the committee will prepare a written summary of all decisions which will be provided to the Association and a notice thereof mailed to each alleged violator, within three days.
Subsequent to the hearing any further enforcement action will be taken by the Board of Directors and/or its assignees. All fines shall be payable to the Association within thirty (30) days from the date that written notice of the decision is sent to the alleged violator(s).For conditionally deferred fines where no resolution occurs, the Board of Directors shall send notice of failure to comply and payment shall be due within thirty (30) days of such notice.
Violator(s) will be responsible for interest, costs and attorney's fees incurred in the enforcement of the fine, including costs and attorney's fees in connection with any correspondence or hearings.Fines not paid by the due date shall be subject to interest at a rate of 10% per annum, compounded monthly.
- Class A Violations: Violations that have not been addressed/corrected within the predefined and noted time periods after formal notification to the owner/resident by certified mail. In determining the amount of the fine, considerations should include the nature of the violation, the time period since the homeowner/tenant was first notified, any subsequent notifications and correspondence/conversations with the homeowner/tenant, and the total association expenses incurred in trying to correct the violation.
- Class B Violations: Violations of a repetitive nature, where corrective action is usually taken after first notification, only for the violation to re-occur, six or more times, requiring repeated notifications to the owner/resident. In determining the amount of the fine, considerations should include the repetitiveness and frequency of past violations, previous notifications and responses, and the total association expenses incurred in trying to correct the violation.
- Class C Violations: One-time, flagrant, occurrences that clearly violate the provisions of the Declaration or Rules and Regulations, which cannot adequately be addressed through normal notice and enforcement procedures. In determining the amount of the fine, consideration should be given to the specifics and detrimental nature of the violation and the impact it will have to impede repeat violations.