In a townhome community in Florida does an attorney have to prepare a lien and record for unpaid association dues against homeowner or can the board of directors prepare and file it without an attorney?
The lien can be filed without an attorney but once a court case is required, an attorney must become involved. Any non human entity cannot represent itself in court except through a licensed attorney.
IMPORTANT: No attorney-client relationship is formed through interaction with this attorney on this public forum. The contents of any comment or response should be considered general conversational discourse on the topic identified and NOT specific legal advice or analysis that might apply to your situation. If you rely upon any part of the content of this response in making any decision or pursuing any course of action, you do so at your own risk and without recourse against this attorney or law firm.
"CAN the board of directors prepare and file...". Absolutely. They can all shoot themselves in the foot too, and then perform brian surgery on each other (metaphorically speaking). Heck, this way they can save a FEW bucks, and when the -- hits the fan ('cause they screwed up in some way, making the association - and themselves - LIABLE for fees and costs) they can all have a good laugh! Seriously, a dumber idea I haven't heard. The association needs to retain a lawyer to determine if a lien is even warranted! Why a board member would put themselves on the chopping block just to save a buck, I dunno. And if ASKER is a Board Member (yikes!!!!) you should NOT be here on line trying to answer legal questions for the Board! In the first place, reporting back could constitute the unauthorized practice of law (which can be a crime in this state); and even asking (and relying on) the opinions here (which are disclaimed in every way imaginable) would likely constitute a breach of any board member's fiduciary.
So "can" the Board do it? Sure. SHOULD IT? NO WAY.
Hope this helps.
Responses provided herein are merely commentary on the question posed. They are NOT intended as legal advice, nor to be relied upon by anyone, for any reason, nor to create an attorney-client relationship between you and I; and all askers should consult an attorney for advice regarding each individual matter, since each case is a bit different, and not all information is typically recited in the online question as posted. PLEASE do not contact me directly; I am NOT accepting new clients at this time, and only volunteer here on AVVO to "give back" after a long and prosperous career. Good luck!
There was an advisory issued in the 1990's by the Florida Supreme Court stating the preparation of liens requires an attorney and would the unlicensed practice of law. The advisory was for community association managers, but the industry experts have stated it would likely apply to board members if someone filed a complaint with the Florida Bar. One mistake and you lien the wrong property or lose a bunch of money because the lien is defective.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline