Ryan Royce Prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in a Declaratory Action

Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on October 18, 2022

Ryan W. Royce, an associate in the firm’s Tampa office, prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action brought by Plaintiff against a condominium association (“Association”) after its board had voted for the removal of the onsite sewer system and construction of a new sewer lift station to be able to connect to county sewer lines.  The Plaintiff objected to construction of the new sewer lift station and filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that a majority unit owner vote was required and that the granting of an easement in favor of the county should be deemed void as a matter of law.  In our motion for summary judgment, we successfully argued that although an easement is a real property interest in land, it is a right distinct from ownership of the land itself and does not confer title to the land on which the easement is imposed. Further, because an easement is a right of use and does not transfer title, the Association had the power to grant sewer related easements to the County without a unit owner vote. The trial court agreed with the defense and granted final summary judgment for the defendant. The defendant is now pursuing recovery of its attorney’s fees and costs.