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PEOPLE`S COURT judge catches condo Director-manager STIFFING AUDITOR Sackstein v Tuck 2021/11/20 20:07  
These ain`t actors but real litigants who agree to divert into ADR binding alternative dispute resolution. Part of cash awards are paid by the production.

People`s Court episode 8596 ( Nov 16 2021; Karen Sackstein CPA v Susan Tuck from what seems to be named ``Chestnut Mews` condominium community. )

Savvy Latina judge Marilyn Milian hears a Florida C.P.A.`s claim for payment after conducting a contracted condominium association audit.

The defendant condo Director here self-describes herself as the Condo Board`s ``Managing Agent``, and notably raises zero defence about the quality or timeliness of the professional audit . Nor of the plaintiff`s professional timeliness except that it allegedly `jumped the gun`` / she claims allegedly contravenes a voodoo local practice - allegedly should have been submitted to the Board for brand new approval after changes of Board majority.


It is undisputed that the plaintiff professional auditor ( a C.P.A. ) had been contracted in writing to do – and had actually completed professionally and on time - a $ 2700 ( 2019 ) audit authorized in 2020 by Motion of the condo Board`s majority as approved at a quorumed Board Meeting.

Such was a Meeting which the defendant admits having attended as a Director.

Also undisputed is that despite the condo by-laws in front of Judge Milian – by-laws which require an ANNUAL AUDIT - the defendant Director-Manager had not only attended the contract issuance Board Meeting. But had had also voted unsuccessfully against the Motion to comply with the audit by-law.

Further supporting the auditor`s iron-clad claim to be paid for her work, are the signed contract, the by-laws requiring an annual audit, and the ZOOM live testimony of the past President. With authority of the majority Motion, he had executed the contract binding the condo corporation. Four months later he sold his unit, resigned as President and moved out. ( Wonder why ? )

Presumably next taking the new majority was the defendant who self-describes as Director / Manager .


Judge Milian hears a gob-smacking range of voodoo defences raised politely & delivered dead-pan by the Director-Managing Agent.

Then the judge - with some humour thrown in - delivers a surgical dissection before ordering payment of the auditor`s bill.

Judge Milan giggles about South Florida condo disputes - obviously has been to that rodeo before

BUT even she is surprised by a range of gob-smacking voodoo defences from the Director-Manager.

Delivered dead-pan and low-key, those defences could act as a form of cautionary warning not only to service-providing professionals, but to potential buyers & lenders doing due diligence. Amongst those :

- "the audit `jumped the gun`` / should have been submitted to the Board for brand new approval after changes of Board majority, a ( voodoo ) by-law over-ride which Boards ( allegedly ) have been getting away with for years. We had only one prior external audit in 20 years ! "

- "anyway we had that a 2017 audit; so why do one for 2019 ? "

- ``I cannot remember that the Board voted to approve ``

- "by-laws are mere guidelines that can be ignored"

- "our own by-laws are inappropriate boiler-plates, because we have only 20 units & are short of funds"

- "the previous (approving ) Board ignored or failed to enforce some other by-laws. So why did they comply with the audit by-law ?"

Amongst Judge Milan`s challenges :

``Where on earth do you get the nerve - the authority – to claim to override the audit by-law ? !

"If you want a change ( to amend any lawfully amendable by-law ), what makes you think you can merrily chit-chat past it ? Lawfully amending a by-law doesn`t have to be a Suicide Pact ! ! ``

"You have a duty to carry out what people contractually buy into ! " ( and LEND into ) "What gives you the right to ignore that ? "

Insightful Postscripts :

- The plaintiff auditor is asked if she will ever do work for the defendant`s Board again – NO ( politely ).

- The defendant Director /Manager still stays low key, deflecting without daring to address the opticals of stiffing an auditor contracted to examine the integrity of the financial statements. Wider, given that condo owners are expected to pay, comply etc, what is the implication of their Board casually stiffing professional service-providers ?

Appears ``not to get it``. If this is her view of by-laws, wonder what else is going on ?
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