Default filed in variance lawsuit

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM.

A lawsuit seeking to void a land variance granted by the Board of County Commissioners in April took a turn last week with several filings.

J. Patrick Floyd, attorney for Beacon Hill resident Bo Williams requested and was granted by the Gulf County Clerk of Courts a default motion after the county failed to respond to one portion of the suit within the statutorily-required time period.

That default motion was filed by the office of Clerk of Courts Becky Norris last week.

County attorney Jeremy Novak responded in a filing by arguing the plaintiff had “rushed to judgment” with a premature motion and that a court order from Circuit Court Judge John Fishel set a deadline of June 19 to respond.

The filing asks that the default motion be struck and the county awarded attorney’s fees for being forced to respond to a premature motion.

In a subsequent filing, Floyd argued the county failed to respond to the request for declaratory relief as required under law and the county moved to strike the default motion instead of answering the merits as required by statute.

A response to the second component of the lawsuit, seeking a writ of certiorari, Floyd argued, is that triggered by Fishel’s order and therefore the default motion was proper due to the lack of response from the county.

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