1. Florida’s Fourth DCA affirmed a county court’s final judgment foreclosing a lien in favor of Deer Run Property Owners’ Association (the “Association”) awarding over $87,000 for delinquent assessments, interest, late charges, costs, and attorneys’ fees. Belkova v. Deer Run Prop. Owners’ Ass’n, Inc., No. 4D21-2924, 2023 WL 5419586, at *3 (Fla. 4th DCA August 23, 2023). Belkova argued that the county court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter or to award attorneys’ fees for work performed in bankruptcy court. Belkova also argued the county court abused its discretion by refusing to continue the summary judgment proceedings due to a physical injury.
  2. The Fourth DCA rejected all of Belkova’s arguments and affirmed the $87,000 judgment of foreclosure in favor of the Association. The Court found Belkova’s reliance on the homestead exemption to prevent foreclosure for unpaid assessments was misplaced since “taxes and assessment” were excepted from the homestead exemption. The Court also explained that the $15,000 limitation for matters brought in county court was “exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees” so the county court properly exercised its jurisdiction over the matter.
  3. Lastly, the Court found the award of attorneys’ fees incurred during the bankruptcy proceedings was proper since the bankruptcy stay had been lifted and there was no disposition of the subject property in the proceedings. Finally, based on Belkova’s history of dilatory practices throughout the litigation, the Fourth DCA concluded the county court did not abuse its discretion when it denied yet another request for a continuance the day of the summary judgment proceedings. The Court affirmed all aspects of the final judgment entered in favor of the Association.

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