LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT K. LINCOLN, P.A.

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. 

Bert Harris Settlement - Maybe More Complicated than You Think

A couple of years ago, I blogged Vetter v. Charlotte County - which dealt with preliminary injunctions and vested rights. Now it's back as Charlotte County Park of Commerce v. Charlotte County. Here's the opinion - which anyone interested in Bert Harris actions MUST read.

It appears that a settlement agreement to deal with the case has blown up. One of the elements is that the landowner filed a notice of a Bert Harris claim during the pendancy of the other litigation. The "claim" was subject to the settlement - before the actual Bert Harris lawsuit was filed.

While gets to the issue. The Act provide for the presuit notice of the "claim" (including the requirement to file appraisals), a 180 day settlement period, then the ability to file a suit. The Act also requires court approval of the settlement "under this section" if it would contravene a statute (the most likely candidate in most circumstances is 163.3194 - the consistency requirement- if a settlment arguable includes a variance from or interpretation of a comprehensive plan provision).

So, is a settlement "under this section" a settlement only of a filed lawsuit, or of a noticed claim?

The 2d District took the position that once the notice of claim was filed, the operative provision for approval of the settlement agreement took effect. That is, once there is notice of a Bert Harris claim, the parties are bound by sections 70.001(4)(d) 1 and 2 regarding the settlement. In this case, that meant sending the issue back to the trial court, because if the Bert Harris claim was settled, then the Plaintiff might be entitled to the relief sought (judicial approval and enforcement of the settlement).

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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.