Delaire Country Club Facing Two Lawsuits Over COVID Rules, Enforcement; Now City Of Delray Beach May Review Plan To Renovate Clubhouse On Sundays…
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
UPDATE at 12:18 PM to reflect two additional suits filed, bringing the total to three
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Delaire Country Club is facing two lawsuits over COVID restrictions and separately may be facing additional legal action if it moves forward with plans to renovate its clubhouse on Sundays.
As BocaNewsNow.com first reported on January 19th, Mari and Marc Schneebaum are suing the Homeowners Association over claims that COVID restrictions were enforced in violation of Florida law. Now two additional couples have filed nearly identical suits. Michael Mikulewich and Ekaterina Mikulewich filed suit, as did Richard Hopper and Kendra Salerno who assert the following in their filing:
“Effective July 1, 2021, the State of Florida enacted Fla. Stat., § 381.00316 into law.
This law states in part that any business entity, including Delaire, may not require patrons or
customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection
recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations. Stated another way,
Delaire is prohibited from requiring that a member be vaccinated before entering and utilizing its
Clubhouse, indoor dining facilities, card rooms and fitness center.
Delaire’s Inconsistent Position with Florida Law
On October 7, 2021, in complete derogation of Fla. Stat., $ 381.00316, Delaire’s Board of Governors created a rule (contradictory to the By-Laws) that was not voted upon by the members and thus is not part of Delaire’s By-Laws that only vaccinated members are allowed in the Clubhouse, indoor dining facilities, card rooms and fitness center (Delaire’s “COVID Protocol”).”
Whether a private club has the right to enforce its own rules is at the center of the debate. The Schneebaums, and Richard Hopper and Kendra Salerno argue the private club must follow Governor Ron DeSantis’ orders. A club, however, is a private entity and can largely set its own rules. Homeowner associations — much like the federal government — are traditionally set up as a representative system, meaning homeowners vote for others who ultimately vote or decide what rules are in effect. The two lawsuits are filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
Separately, multiple homeowners tell BocaNewsNow.com that they are calling on the City of Delray Beach Code Enforcement agents to stop Delaire’s plan to renovate its clubhouse on Sundays. From a document sent to homeowners in the community by General Manager Robin Blankhorst.
“We have been given approval by the POA to have our contractors work 7 days a week, with the exception of select holidays, since most of the renovation will be done inside the Clubhouse.”
The City of Delray Beach prohibits non-emergency construction on Sundays. Homeowners say they are prepared to sue the HOA/POA to stop Sunday construction.
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