Condo Owners Claim Association Attempted To Lock Them In Their Unit, Then Attempted To Gain Access To Ensure They Were Inside.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
UPDATE: December 31, 2020: The Sun Sentinel — as it often does — has taken our story and is running its own version. It has not credited BocaNewsNow.com as the original source. The Sun Sentinel version is running several days after BocaNewsNow.com first reported on the lawsuit. Don’t pay for the Sun Sentinel. Our news is free.
UPDATE: December 30, 2020: We have received phone calls from condo owners in Palmetto Place concerned that our reporting will decrease property values in the Palmetto Place building.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court alleges “false imprisonment” and “invasion of privacy” after the Palmetto Place Condominium Association allegedly deactivated the key fobs of two homeowners who publicly acknowledged they were COVID-19 positive. The condo association — allegedly without authority to do so — used the key fob deactivation as a way to force the husband and wife to stay in their condo for two weeks, then told the couple that the HOA would call the police to “request that you be removed from the building and or arrested” if they attempted to exit the high-end building.
The HOA is also accused of attempting to enter the couple’s unit to ensure the husband and wife remained inside.
Steven and Nancy Icowitz are suing Palmetto Place at Mizner Park for false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, negligence, violation of Florida law, and more. You can read the entire lawsuit, below. Units in the building near Mizner Park range from $300,000 to nearly $1,000,000.
[Reading in a news app? Click here for full story].
The filing follows a lawsuit filed over the summer by the Palmetto Place Condominium Association — and its management company “First Service Residential” — seeking to order the Iscowitz’s to stay in their unit. The Association dropped the suit after Palm Beach County Judge Scott Kerner refused to hear the case as an “emergency.”
Kerner is Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner’s brother.
In the just-filed lawsuit against Palmetto Place, Nancy and Steven Iscowitz allege that the Palmetto Place Condo Association — and First Service Residential manager Leann Dodd — became Judge, Jury and Executioner. The suit alleges the Association and Dodd set questionable and potentially illegal rules, then claimed unchecked authority to enforce those rules. At no time were police authorized to effectuate arrests based on COVID-19 status. At no time were Florida citizens required to divulge COVID status to anyone other than health department officials for purposes of contact tracing.
From the lawsuit against Palmetto Place and First Service (“FirstService”) Residential:
“Defendant Firstservice Residential through its agents and employees, had no reasonable basis for detaining Steven Iscowitz and Nancy Iscowitz against their wills. No exigency of circumstance existed which could warrant Association’s behavior.”
“Defendant Association unlawfully intruded into Plaintiff’s unit after the deactivation of the electronic Fobs. Such action deprived Steven Iscowitz and Nancy Iscowitz of their liberties, including their ability to move freely within their rights in the unit.”
Read all of the charges and accusations in the lawsuit, below.
This is the second high-profile COVID-19 issue involving Palmetto Place and “First Service Residential.” We reported on November 25th that FirstService and the Palmetto Place Condo Association attempted to fine another unit owner $5,100 for a mask violation.
Read the complete lawsuit against Palmetto Place, below. If you are reading this in a news app, click here to access the filing.
The Palmetto Place Condominium Owners Association has not yet filed a response to the suit.Palmetto-Place-Covid
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