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Subject: Email Privacy
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Author Messages
LexiM
(Florida)

Posts:7


10/12/2018 6:19 PM  
Trying to understand something in this age of technology as a board member.

A fellow board member has been forwarding and sharing emails sent to the board/management company from a concerned unit owner. The emails are being forwarded to a board members friends who are not on the board or involved in the issue at hand. They have also asked said owners to "reach out" to the unit owner who originally sent the email to warn them about bothering the board.


Step 1 - The board I serve with held a quorum. (i was not present for this particular meeting)

Step 2 - a Motion was passed to alter the business center in such a way that it changes the layout

Step 3 - Unit owner A send an email to the board and management to tell them that upon reading the CCRs, the board made an illegal motion to "materially and substantially" alter the business center. Asks the board and members to withdraw and hold the required 75% vote to make such changes. Unit owner A also points out many of the other motions that were breaking the rules.

Step 4 - Board member starts forwarding emails from Unit Owner A to their friends, Unit Owners B, C, and D. Those other owners are now flooding Unit owner A with emails and "warnings".


My question is whether or not it's legal/appropriate for board members to forward private correspondence to non-board members. Should unit owners who email the board or management company have some expectation of privacy?





SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2560


10/13/2018 6:26 AM  
You have a legal question, it's best to go to a private attorney. State law is still catching up to the expanded use of emails, so what may be true in my state isn't necessarily the same for yours.

Having said that, I think it was inappropriate for this board member to forward the email to people who aren't on the board - it appears the only reason he/she did it was to get the friends to try and intimidate owner A. By the way, owner A may have a valid point about this business center. so why didn't your colleagues read the CCRs themselves and consult with the association attorney if they weren't sure they were interpreting the CCRs correctly?

On the other hand, the owner may be mistaken. I don't know what the owner means by the board "withdrawing" - if he/she is asking for them to resign, I think that's too soon (of course there could be some history between the board and that homeowner that you haven't mentioned)

Ask your colleagues to send the issue to the attorney for an interpretation during the next OPEN board meeting, as well as guidance on how emails should be handled and come up with some policies. There are a number of issues to be considered, such as storing emails, when they can or can't be disclosed to homeowners, etc.

You should also request an executive session to address this board member's conduct, as I think a reprimand for his/her behavior is in order.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6403


10/13/2018 12:38 PM  
I'm with Sheila: "You should also request an executive session to address this board member's conduct, as I think a reprimand for his/her behavior is in order. "

Questions for you, Lexi. How much will it cost to alter the Biz Center?

Is it just moving walls in the structure?

Or will plumbing or electrical be added or moved?

What size is this structure?

Where is the $$ coming from?

I think by "withdraw," the writer wants the board to rescind their decisions and revisit the topic. That's up to the board and such a motion if the board agrees must take place at a open meeting.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


10/13/2018 1:01 PM  
We’re the emails marked private or eyes only in any way?

Not sure they meet an expectation of privacy ...unless there is a board policy or rule regarding.

Ya could make a legal stink, but might not be worth the effort.
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