Court orders turnover of Palm Beach Polo and Country Club Property Owners Association Developer must relinquish control

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After three years of litigation and more than 30 years of developer control of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club Property Owners Association (POA) in Wellington, Florida, the 15th Judicial Circuit Court entered a judgment holding that the events requiring turnover of the POA from the developer to the homeowners had occurred and that the Declarant, Palm Beach Holdings, Inc., is required to relinquish control of the POA at the next annual meeting.  The Plaintiffs were represented by Howard K. Coates, Jr. and Mary F. April of McDonald Hopkins throughout the proceedings.

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The Plaintiffs, 19 condominium and homeowners associations at Palm Beach Polo comprised of over 700 homeowners, along with two individual plaintiffs, were seeking a declaratory judgment that the turnover threshold of the developer-controlled POA had been reached and that the developer should have turned over operation of the POA to its members in 2005. Under the POA's governing documents, turnover is triggered when the developer sells at least 95 percent of the total number of platted lots or recorded condominium declaration parcels. 

Both sides presented a number of witnesses addressing the turnover threshold and whether it had been met, as well as the drafting of the documents themselves.  The Defendants' arguments, however, proved unpersuasive to the Court, who found the documents to be clear and unambiguous as to the requirements for turnover and that those requirements had long ago been met.  As a result of the Court's order, the developer-controlled majority of the Board of the POA will be replaced by popularly elected representatives from each of the classes of homeowners within Palm Beach Polo.

"For the Plaintiffs, the turnover decision represents a vindication of years of hard work and effort and the end of a difficult chapter in the history of Palm Beach Polo," said Howard Coates, member at McDonald Hopkins.  "Much work will be spent over the next couple of months preparing for turnover and control, at last, of the community they cherish."

About McDonald Hopkins
McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The president of McDonald Hopkins is Carl J. Grassi. For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit www.mcdonaldhopkins.com.

CONTACT:
Deborah W. Kelm
McDonald Hopkins LLC
600 Superior Avenue, East, Suite 2100
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216.348.5733
Email: dkelm@mcdonaldhopkins.com

SOURCE McDonald Hopkins



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