Non-Final Appeal from the Circuit Court for Orange County, George A. Sprinkel, IV, Judge.
James E. Olsen of Wean & Malchow, P.A., Orlando, for Appellant.
Alan B. Taylor and Paul E. DeHart of Litchford & Christopher, P.A., Orlando, for Appellees.
McINTOSH, D. L., Associate Judge.
Appellant, Southchase Parcel 45 Community Association, Inc. (the Association), appeals from an order denying a temporary injunction to keep a recalled board of directors in office and installing a newly elected replacement board of directors. We affirm.
This appeal begins with a prior lawsuit (Southchase I) filed by the Association challenging, among other things, the lack of a quorum at a recall election held on October 22, 2001. During the Southchase I lawsuit, the Association and the newly elected replacement board of directors entered into a settlement that required a new recall election to be held on November 19, 2001, in lieu of the October 22, 2001, recall election. The procedures for the new recall election, including what constituted a quorum, were agreed upon by the parties and memorialized in a memorandum of settlement dated October 30, 2001. The November 19, 2001, recall election was held in compliance with the parties’ settlement. In accordance with the parties’ settlement, the Association filed its Notice of Voluntary Dismissal the day after the November 19, 2001, recall election.
Eight days after dismissing the Southchase I lawsuit, the Association filed the instant lawsuit claiming the quorum at the November 19, 2001, recall election was not valid, notwithstanding the Association’s position in the Southchase I lawsuit. Under the circumstances in this case, we find the Association was estopped from taking a position inconsistent with the position taken by the Association in the Southchase I lawsuit.
Proceedings in a former suit estop a litigant from occupying an inconsistent position in another and subsequent suit. J. Schnarr & Co. v. Virginia-Carolina Chem. Corp., 159 So. 39 (Fla. 1934).
In Major League Baseball v. Morsani, 790 So. 2d 1071 (Fla. 2001), the Florida Supreme Court stated:
Equitable estoppel is based on principles
of fair play and essential justice and arises when one party lulls another
party into a disadvantageous legal position:
The doctrine of estoppel is applicable
in all cases where one, by word, act or conduct, willfully
Id. at 1076 (quoting State ex rel. Watson v. Gray, 48 So. 2d 84, 87-88 (Fla. 1950) (quoting Pomeroy’s Equity Jurisprudence § 804 (5th ed. 1941))
The Association could have sought the particular
relief that the Association now seeks
We hold the Association is now precluded by the doctrine of estoppel against inconsistent positions from taking an inconsistent position against the same board of directors in this subsequent case.