Land Use and Local Government Law and Litigation

The Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A.  provides legal services to private and public entities involved in complex land use disputes.  Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.  Before you decide, ask and I will provide free information about my experience and qualifications. 

OK, Local Gov't Attorneys, Repeat After Me: You Can't Lien Homestead Property - Really!

In Pelacanos v. City of Hallendale Beach, here's the opinion, the 4th DCA reminds us that homestead property really is free of liens - even if the homeowner makes a court mad. In that case, homeowners who were subject to code enforcement actions entered a settlement, but kept failing to completely live up to it. The result was various contempt citations and later an order from the court allowing the City to demolish the building and lien it.

The homeowners got the property under contract and asked for a declaration that the property would be sold free of the liens.

The trial court denied them their relief, but the 4th granted it. The City argued that because the homeowners had engaged in "eggregious" conduct in failing to comply with the court orders, the lien was valid (yeah, right). The court found that the property was homestead and therefore protected from the lien for demolition costs, regardless of how frustrated the lower court had been: "While we certainly empathize with the trial court's frustration with the appellants’ noncompliance, it is not our province to judicially create another exception to the plain and unambiguous language of article X, section 4. "

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Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask and I will send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances, or to establish an attorney-client relationship between us.