Status of 7/19/16 hearing: WCI’s attempt to Dismiss RBC’s Lawsuit

Dear RBC Supporters:

This morning, the Court heard oral arguments on WCI’s attempt to have RBC’s lawsuit against them dismissed.  The courtroom was small but filled with RBC supporters.  In addition, Pelican Landing Community Association Board President Knowles, Manager Martel and PLCA’s attorney, Tom Hart, were present although there was no comment from any of them.

What was most interesting is that the major focus of the WCI attorney’s argument was on insisting that the PLCA would have to be joined as a necessary party for the suit to go forward.  This was an odd argument given the fact that RBC’s case is entirely against the actions of WCI — specifically WCI’s claim of annexation capability, control of our Documents post turnover (dead hand control), and the post turnover Board design.  (You may recall the PLCA Board’s repeated statements that — all this is under WCI control — that WCI is driving the bus — and that the Board has no power over any of it.)

To most of us there it seemed as if WCI’s attorney was also trying to put the onus on the PLCA Board as the entity that should be sued.  In other words, it appeared they were trying to “throw the Board under the bus” and disavow WCI of any responsibility.  The facts of the case do not support this scenario as very clearly this case is against unilateral actions of WCI.  While the PLCA Board could have stood up to WCI’s actions; it did not, has not, and has made clear it will not.  That leaves RBC vs. WCI.

The other argument voiced by the WCI attorney seemed to be that RBC and, most particularly, Barbara Craig were challenging the 2001 Settlement Agreement.  This argument is incorrect since what RBC and Craig seek is the protection of the provisions in the Settlement Agreement; in other words, the enforcement of the Agreement.  As to Craig, the WCI attorney’s argument was really nutty: that since Craig did not own property in Pelican Landing in 2001, she could not challenge an agreement she was not party to.  Of course, the 2001 Settlement Agreement (Amendment 75 to our Documents) is part of the documents that every owner is protected by and responsible to follow.  There is no challenge to the 2001 Settlement Agreement anywhere in the RBC/ Craig complaint and this is a classic example of an opponent trying to change the facts of a case in order to get to some place that can help their side.  We do not think the judge will be confused by such tactics.

RBC’s response was that WCI failed to bring forth any valid basis to dismiss this action.  The underlying interests and property rights are those of the unit owners, the “real parties in interest”, and not the PLCA (an entity under Florida law established to operate the affairs of the community).  WCI is proceeding with actions detrimental to Pelican Landing property owners and the PLCA. Yet, despite their fiduciary relationship to the members, the PLCA’s officers and directors have failed to act. Therefore, RBC has a clear right to file suit to protect and benefit all unit owners.  Accordingly, RBC respectfully requested the court deny WCI’s “motion to dismiss” so that the matters before the court can proceed on the merits of the RBC’s complaint.

At the end of the hearing, the Judge stated that he would not give an immediate ruling from the bench but would take it “under advisement”.  This basically means the judge will consider the oral arguments and the briefs submitted by both sides and rule presently.  Precisely when “presently” will be we do not know but we will keep you informed.

Following are the briefs that were filed with the court regarding this motion to dismiss:

RBC’s Counter to WCI’s Motion to Dismiss                  (WCI’s Motion to Dismiss)

RBC Fundraising Campaign Continues: The legal fight to maintain the viability of our community requires money and expertise. We have hired Richard DeBoest to represent us in this challenge but need your contributions to pay for it. Please send your check made out to “Goede, Adamczyk Trust Account” (with “RBC” on the memo line) to:
Richard DeBoest, Esq
2030 McGregor Blvd
Ft. Myers, FL 33901
Please include your name, email and home address on a separate piece of paper.
Thank you for your support!