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In Southern Walls, the Fifth District considered whether a cooperative

apartment should be treated as homestead for the purpose of exemption from

forced sale. 810 So. 2d at 568. Writing after this Court wrote in Wartels, and also

after the effective date of the Cooperative Act, Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, the

Southern Walls court quoted numerous sections of the Cooperative Act

culminating "with the stated purpose of the Act, which 'is to give statutory

recognition to the cooperative form of ownership of real property.'" Id. at 571, 572

(emphasis by court, citing § 719.102, Fla. Stat.) This sentence led the court "to

conclude that an owner of a co-op may qualify as an 'owner' of a 'residence' under

article X, Section 4(a)(1) of the Florida Constitution." Id. at 572.

It is appropriate for this Court to accept jurisdiction to resolve this conflict.

The lower court in this case, and presumably other cases, have continued to apply

the result in Wartels notwithstanding the changes wrought by the Cooperative Act

in the nature of the interest hat a cooperative unit owner owns. The result is

uncertainty, instability and inconsistency. Owners of cooperative apartments in

Florida should not be required to speculate about the nature of what it is that they

own.

The petitioners note that the Florida Condominium Act, Chapter 718,

Florida Statutes, permits a condominium to be declared on property that is merely

leased, and not owned in fee simple. § 718.104(1); § 718.401. If this Court's

FTL:2221415:1

5 RUDEN, McCLOSKY, SMITH, SCHUSTER & RUSSELL, P.A.

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