Who and what does the Florida Sunshine Law cover?
Florida’s Sunshine Law promotes the state’s policy towards open government. In fact, it is required by Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution. Does the open policy apply to every government entity in Florida, does it apply to all members of the government, its agencies, etc., and does it cover every type of meeting? The Sunshine Law applies to “any board or commission of any state agency or authority or of any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation or political subdivision.” Section 286.011, Florida Statutes. Notice that the Sunshine Law applies to state, county, municipal or political subdivisions; it does not apply to federal agencies or federal entities of any type.
What is Florida’s Sunshine Law?
Florida has a long history of openness dating back to at least 1909 when the “Public Records Law” (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes) was passed. Since that time, Florida has enacted several laws and amended the Florida Constitution to ensure openness in the government. One important part of these statutes is Florida’s “Sunshine Law” (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes). So how far does this openness go and what type of openness does it provide?
Is your agreement binding and enforceable?
One question that has to be answered in nearly every breach of contract case is was there a contract or was there an agreement? Although this sounds simple enough, and often times it is, there are several different types of agreements and in Florida, there are several ways to make an agreement, modify an agreement, or make a counter-offer and you may not even realize you have done it. Black’s Law Dictionary has several definitions for a contract, and lists numerous types of contracts, but the basic definition is “[a]n agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law.”
Construction Liens, Landlords, and Tenants
A landlord can be liable for a construction lien (or mechanics’ liens) if the landlord fails to take proper precautions or fails to timely respond to a contractor or other lienor. An “owner” must sign the notice of commencement for construction or improvements to begin on a premises.
What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
A certificate of occupancy or CO in theory is very simple. It is the approval from the local jurisdiction that allows anyone other than construction workers, engineers, etc. to occupy the structure, with some exceptions that this article does not address, such as for industrial structures and projects. This sounds simple enough, but in order to receive a CO, the structure is typically required to be nearly finished, but not necessarily completely finished. It is often times the point at which substantial completion occurs, but case law is clear that they are not necessarily the same and in fact, receiving a CO is certainly strong evidence that substantial completion has occurred, but not necessarily the only evidence needed. For further information about substantial completion, visit my blog on substantial completion.
What is Construction Law?
Construction law is really a form of contract law, but a very complex and technical form of contract law that has many additional twists and turns. It can also include tort claims, as in the case of construction defects or negligence. Construction law for starters involves some form of design or construction project. The parties involved range from owners to architects and engineers to contractors and subcontractors with several parties in between.
By: J. Mason Williams IV It can be difficult to determine what type of monetary damages, if any, a party is entitled to in a breach of contract case. Even if you determine the type of damages, it can be even more difficult to prove the amount as evidenced in a recent case in Hillsborough […]
By: J. Mason Williams IV I have been asked several times whether a person can get their security deposit back. Often times, they tell me that they cleaned everything up and the landlord still won’t give them their deposit back. Why not and what can I do? Well, first you have to review your […]
The short answer is no, you don’t always have to pay your rent, but the circumstances that allow you to make partial payments, or to stop paying altogether are very limited. In short, generally you need to pay your rent. You might win a case and get that rent returned or get something fixed, but […]