Terms Used In Florida Statutes > Chapter 720 > Part I - General Provisions
Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
amenity fee: means a sum or sums of money payable to the association, to the developer or other owner of common areas, or to recreational facilities and other properties serving the parcels by the owners of one or more parcels as authorized in the governing documents, which if not paid by the owner of a parcel, can result in a lien against the parcel. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
Asset: means a legal or equitable interest of the assignor in property, which includes anything that may be the subject of ownership, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, including claims and causes of action, whether arising by contract or in tort, wherever located, and by whomever held at the date of the assignment, except property exempt by law from forced sale. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
Assignee: means a natural person solely in such person's capacity as an assignee for the benefit of creditors under the provisions of this chapter, which assignee shall not be a creditor or an equity security holder or have any interest adverse to the interest of the estate. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Assignor: means the person or entity that has executed and delivered the assignment to the assignee. See Florida Statutes 727.103
association: means a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community or a mobile home subdivision in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
Common area: means all real property within a community which is owned or leased by an association or dedicated for use or maintenance by the association or its members, including, regardless of whether title has been conveyed to the association:
(a) Real property the use of which is dedicated to the association or its members by a recorded plat; or
(b) Real property committed by a declaration of covenants to be leased or conveyed to the association. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
community: includes all real property, including undeveloped phases, that is or was the subject of a development-of-regional-impact development order, together with any approved modification thereto. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Consensual lienholder: means a creditor that has been granted a security interest or lien in personal property or real property of the assignor prior to the date on which a petition is filed with the court and whose security interest or lien has been perfected in accordance with applicable law. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
Creditor: means any person having a claim against the assignor, whether such claim is contingent, liquidated, unliquidated, or disputed. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
declaration: means a recorded written instrument or instruments in the nature of covenants running with the land which subject the land comprising the community to the jurisdiction and control of an association or associations in which the owners of the parcels, or their association representatives, must be members. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
(a) Creates the community served by the association; or
(b) Succeeds to the rights and liabilities of the person or entity that created the community served by the association, provided that such is evidenced in writing. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Devise: To gift property by will.
Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Division: means the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
Embezzlement: In most states, embezzlement is defined as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Embezzlement typically occurs in the employment and corporate settings. Source: OCC
Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Governing documents: means :
(a) The recorded declaration of covenants for a community and all duly adopted and recorded amendments, supplements, and recorded exhibits thereto;
(b) The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the homeowners' association and any duly adopted amendments thereto; and
(c) Rules and regulations adopted under the authority of the recorded declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws and duly adopted amendments thereto. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
Lien: means a charge against or an interest in property to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation, and includes a security interest created by agreement, a judicial lien obtained by legal or equitable process or proceedings, a common-law lien, or a statutory lien. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Liquidation value: means the value in cash obtainable upon a forced sale of assets after payment of valid liens encumbering said assets. See Florida Statutes 727.103
Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
Member: means a member of an association, and may include, but is not limited to, a parcel owner or an association representing parcel owners or a combination thereof, and includes any person or entity obligated by the governing documents to pay an assessment or amenity fee. See Florida Statutes 720.301
Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
political subdivision: include counties, cities, towns, villages, special tax school districts, special road and bridge districts, bridge districts, and all other districts in this state. See Florida Statutes 1.01
Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
Uniform Commercial Code: A set of statutes enacted by the various states to provide consistency among the states' commercial laws. It includes negotiable instruments, sales, stock transfers, trust and warehouse receipts, and bills of lading. Source: OCC
Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
Voting interest: means the voting rights distributed to the members of the homeowners' association, pursuant to the governing documents. See Florida Statutes 720.301
writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01