Lawsuit Claims Palmetto Place, Management Company Illegally Sued To Order Condo Owners To Stay Inside While Battling COVID.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The lawsuit against the condo owner association at Palmetto Place in Boca Raton continues, nearly a year after a married couple was sued for refusing to stay home after testing positive for COVID-19.
Steven and Nancy Iscowitz tested positive for COVID in July of 2020. They informed the Palmetto Place Condo Owner Association which then demanded that that Iscowitzs stay in their unit until testing negative. Steven and Nancy Iscowitz refused, although the two agreed to follow other CDC guidelines.
Locking oneself inside was never a CDC mandate. But the Palmetto Place Condo Association and management company First Service sued Nancy and Steven Iscowitz, asking a court to order them to isolate inside.
The case lasted just days. Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Scott Kerner led the case to a “voluntary” dismissal just ten days after it was filed. He never ruled on the matter.
After the dismissal, Nancy and Steven Iscowitz sued Palmetto Place and First Service for ever seeking the emergency order in the first place. Their claim: the Palmetto Place Condo Association and First Service had no business seeking an order to force them to stay inside. In the suit, the Iscowitzs say it’s up to the Department of Health, not a condo association, to set medical policy.
Wrote attorneys representing Steven and Nancy Iscowitz: “While Florida’s Department of Health was aware and monitoring the health status of Steven and Nancy Iscowitz, Defendant Association initiated a process by commencing an original civil judicial proceeding against (the Iscowitz’s) when it filed a complaint and issued the summons. The association had no legal right to proceed or access the courts in this manner…:
The Association claimed it had a right to sue under emergency orders in place at the time, but no emergency order in place gave powers to condo or homeowner associations to prohibit residents from leaving their homes.
“Defendant Association had ulterior motives or purposes in exercising such illegal, improper, or perverted use of process in blatantly acting before the Florida Department of Health could commence, apply and/or maintain an injection regarding isolation… As a result such action, Plaintiffs suffered damage … including pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, betrayal, disparagement, and loss of reputation… “
While the legal wrangling continues, the case remains largely in tact. Judge Howard Coates has dismissed a defamation claim filed by Nancy and Steven Iscowitz, but is letting the core claim — that the association and First Service engaged in “malicious prosecution” — move forward.
The latest documents were filed in early November. It is unclear when — or if — this case will head to trial. Nancy and Steven Iscowitz seek in excess of $30,000 — the statutory minimum for filing in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
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