Monday, November 15, 2021

Judge Brown and Judge Robson Sworn In, Middle District of Florida

 JACKSONVILLE, FL - On November 3, 2021, the Honorable Grace E. Robson and the Honorable Jacob A. Brown were sworn in as the newest bankruptcy judges of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

 The November 15, 2021 press release can be found at http://www.flmb.uscourts.gov/announcements/documents/upload/159637625_File_1.pdf

Monday, November 8, 2021

Judge Jerry A. Funk Quasi Retires - Mentors New Judges

After 28 years on the bench, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jerry A. Funk began quasi-retirement Nov. 2, the first day of a three-year term of reserve status.

That status is how Funk, 76, will stay in touch with his colleagues and help his successor and another new bankruptcy judge transition to the U.S. Middle District of Florida bench.

www.jaxdailyrecord.com/jerry-funk-28-years

Thursday, August 26, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court ends CDC's pandemic residential eviction moratorium

 CDC Eviction Moratorium was just struck down by SCOTUS.as reported by Rutkers.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ended the pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions imposed by President Joe Biden's administration in a challenge to the policy brought by a coalition of landlords and real estate trade groups.

"It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts," the court said in an unsigned opinion.

 The opinion can be found here.

"It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest
merits further action here.

If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue,
Congress must specifically authorize it."

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Home Based Business in Florida: Local Regulations Ineffective Pursuant to F.S. 559.955

Until the passage of Florida Statute Section 559.955, home occupation ordinances applied, and varied on the types of businesses allowed, the activities authorized, and the permitting, licensing, fees and taxes imposed. This statute passed April 30, 2021 and was signed by the Governor on June 29, 2021.

Common home occupation regulation areas include residential character requirements, licensing/permitting/certification, permitted home occupations, prohibited home occupations, signage, employees, traffic and parking, storage and sale of merchandise, and floor area used for the home occupation.

Some examples of local regulation of home-based businesses in Florida include:

In Volusia County, home-based businesses are required to occupy no more than 25 percent of the habitable floor area of the residence;

In Tampa, home-based businesses are prohibited from storing or selling merchandise, and may not conduct business in any accessory building;

In Naples, home-based businesses are not allowed to conduct retail, wholesale, or warehousing activities at the residence;

In Gainesville, a home-based business may not have more than one automobile used for the home-based business parked on the premises within view of surrounding properties. Such automobile may not have more than two signs, not exceeding two square feet in area, each mounted flat against or painted along the sides;

Jacksonville limits home occupations to small-scale, limited businesses that do not detract from the residential character of the neighborhood, and limits the floor area that may be used by the home occupation;

Orlando requires home occupations to obtain an occupational license, and the applicant must also submit detailed information relating to the physical space of the home. Orlando also prohibits certain specified occupations;

Miami limits home occupations to specified occupations, and occupations that do not generate high vehicular demand and limits the workspace of certain specified occupations;

Miami-Dade County prohibits on-site signage related to a home occupation;

Winter Park prohibits employees other than family members living in the house, and prohibits the use of accessory buildings; and

Clearwater requires traffic generated by the home-based business to be no greater in volume than regular residential traffic, limits the use of commercial vehicles, and prohibits parking by marked vehicles on the property.

General law determines whether local governments are able to regulate businesses, and to what degree. Currently, some local governments have enacted ordinances specific to regulating home-based businesses, or businesses which operate out of a residence.

Florida Statute § 559.955 provides that local governments may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or policy, or take any action to license or otherwise regulate a home-based business in a manner that is different from other businesses in a local government’s jurisdiction. In order to be considered a home-based business, the statute requires that the:

Business operates, in whole or in part, from a residential property;

Employees of the business must reside in the residence, except for up to two employees or independent contractors who work at the residence and any number of remote employees;

Parking related to business complies with local zoning requirements and may not be greater than would be expected at a residence where no business is conducted;

Use and external modifications of the residential property are consistent with the uses, residential character, and architectural aesthetics of the neighborhood;

Business complies with local regulations for signage, noise, vibration, heat, smoke, dust, glare, fumes, noxious odors, hazardous or flammable materials, vehicles, and trailers, provided that such regulations are not more stringent than those for a residence where no business is conducted;

Business may not conduct retail transactions at a structure other than the residential dwelling, except incidental and short term business activities may be conducted at the residential property; and

Activities of the home-based business are secondary to the use as a residential dwelling.

The statute provides that home-based businesses will only be subject to applicable business taxes in the county and municipality where the home-based business is located. The statute allows any adversely affected current or prospective home-based business owner to challenge any local government action regulating home-based businesses. The prevailing party may recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.

The application of the statute does not supersede:

Any current or future declaration or declaration of condominium, cooperative document, orhomeowners’ association declaration or declaration of covenant.

Local laws, ordinances, or regulations related to transient public lodging establishments or vacation rentals that are not otherwise preempted under chapter 509.

 


 


 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Biden to Cancel $5.8 Billion in Student Loans

The Biden administration announced on Thursday, August 19, 2021 that it will be automatically wiping out the federal student loan debt for 323,000 borrowers, as reported by Forbes.com.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Bankruptcy Law Firm Agrees to Pay More than $300,000 in Relief

 

National Consumer Bankruptcy Law Firm Agrees to Pay More than $300,000 in Relief to Consumers and to a Six-Year Practice Ban in Settlement with U.S. Trustee Program

The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has entered into a settlement with national consumer bankruptcy law firm Deighan Law LLC, previously known as Law Solutions Chicago and doing business as UpRight Law (UpRight).  The settlement is set forth in a consent order entered by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana on March 9 and resolves enforcement actions filed by the USTP over allegations of misconduct relating to UpRight’s representation of Montana consumers as debtors or prospective debtors in bankruptcy cases.  As stipulated in the settlement, UpRight has paid or will pay more than $300,000 in monetary relief and will be barred from representing bankruptcy clients in Montana for six years.

Read the entire news release from the Department of Justice at  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/national-consumer-bankruptcy-law-firm-agrees-pay-more-300000-relief-consumers-and-six-year?fbclid=IwAR0OtB9MjHhbUiIMtHOP27U35aC7oSQnlbFmVGWJ1d-xytIn44EBj_ou4Q4

Sunday, April 11, 2021

BEAUTIFUL NEW OFFICE

 

I am pleased to announce I have moved into my new office in Green Cove Springs. This office, while still convenient to Clay, Bradford, and Duval Counties, it is significantly more convenient to St. Johns County and Putnam County.

As we all know, we are still working our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. While not downplaying the effects of the pandemic on our lives, our family, our community and our economy, it has caused us to take pause and consider life from a different perspective; we have slowed down and taken account of what is important to us; and from a business perspective, as many have learned to work from home, we have learned how to transact business virtually.

While I am excited to show off my new office, I am still offering virtual consultations either by phone or computer platforms such as Zoom. This is wonderful for both my clients that have difficulty traveling and for those in outlying counties.

My new address is

722 North Orange Avenue, Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043,

and my phone number is still 904-652-0060.