Small claims court might not be the place you'd expect to see a host of heavy hitters in the Miami legal community.
But a Miami-Dade County Court tussle over a $75 fee at the exclusive Riviera Country Club has a "who's who" list of plaintiffs, including a federal judge, a state appellate judge and high-profile attorneys.
U.S. Senior District Judge Paul Huck and Third District Court of Appeal Judge Frank Shepherd are the first two named plaintiffs on the lawsuit against the Coral Gables club.
The judges and the four other plaintiffs, all self-represented, are suing the club to resolve a dispute about senior membership, which is available to club members over 70 who have been members for at least 25 years. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and seeks no damages.
...The other plaintiffs, who are or expect to be senior members, include attorneys Raul Valdes-Fauli of Fox Rothschild in Miami, Abigail Watts-Fitzgerald of Devine Goodman Rasco Watts-Fitzgerald in Coral Gables and solo practitioner Philip Brawner of Coral Gables.
Senior members of the club are not allowed to vote on club matters, but the club agreed to freeze their dues and never charge them future assessments, according to the Feb. 1 complaint.
The club is calling the $75 monthly charge a capital fee, but the plaintiffs contend it's an assessment and they shouldn't have to pay it.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
"I barely have clout in my own court as a senior judge, much less clout in somebody else's court."
That was Judge Huck commenting on whether he would get any special breaks in small claims court. The DBR has more: