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Subject: Violations of CA Civil Code 4935 Questions
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NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/11/2019 11:41 PM  
I am expecting this to get an adverse reaction when I bring this to my board.

On researching the details of an Ethics Pledge, I came across info about Executive Session, and what it may contain as far as authorized topics.

I have to say that I have, along with many others, violated this code many times, unknowing.

Our president has been in place for over a decade, and management company personnelfor most of a 17 year stretch.

It greatly troubles me that either they do not know about these restrictions, or know and do not care, or know and
did not want to give up using Executive Session to do things they should not, but that they have lead many trusting and
well-meaning individuals into breaking state law, by acting as if this is the norm for meetings.

It is the president's job to know our governing documents inside and out, and yet she relies muchly on our hired manager for that.
Our hired manager has also been either ignorant or negligent in bringing this to the fore, so that Board Members will not be breaking the law.

I am disappointed in both people, epecially considering some of the (unauthorized) topics that have been discussed in Executive.
Especially considering a distraught board member recently was told it was their "only option" to air herissues with someone they
felt was bullying them and abusing power. She was given no notice of a topic on the agenda being about her, and was yelled at
by the manager to "spit it out" when she told the board that she was not given proper notice, and was not prepared (she had notes, evidence, a chronological log of issues).


One thing seems to be true: the list of topics an HOA Board can go into is indeed a "hard limit" sort of list, meaning there is no flexibility or "wiggle room"
to do "other stuff" the board just wants to keep behind closed doors... like discussing abuses of power, and bullying by the president, for example.

If Board Member Jessie starts telling a personal story about their lives in Executive Session,
and pershaps mentiones a health issue they feel is relevant to their service, it seems ludicrous to imagine a board
telling Jessie that now that subject is a secret that should not be shared with others.
It seems if Jessie wanted the Board to know something, he could perhaps write a letter, and not have it be a topic anywhere in the meeting,
but instead to provide it as "informational", and not actually broach it as a topic at all, in Open or Executive.

Regarding the above though... abuses of power for example...
If there is not path or procedure for resolving conflict, does a Board default to
Robert's Rules says on matters of discipline, if that is their officially adopted set of Parliamentary Rules?

if yes, this brings me to my next question...

Robert's says a Trial, if one is needed, must take place in executive session... but for a board who's state limits topics, how can this lawful?

Would a board have to form a committee that was less than a quorum of the board, to hear the grivance, see the evidence and determine the outcome?
and also, would that committee hold this in Open Sesssion, or do committee meetings have different rules?

If this is the route, should that committee be not including the accused, or the accuser?

(I have not fully familiarized myself with the RR Trial process, so if I need to be more aware in order
to ask "the right questions" please say so, and I will re-submit as a new question after some reading)


RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3764


06/12/2019 12:38 AM  
I have no clue about what I just read, so I will just back to watching the "Live from the U.S. Open!"!

Been there, Done that
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:81


06/12/2019 3:37 AM  
I read the original post twice and still don't have a clue what I read...
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 3:45 AM  
The title mentions the Ca Civil code in question, and I explain the situation that I am asking about.

Where is the confusion?

Did I include too much detail or something?

The long and short of my question:

Are unauthorized topics that are discussed in Executive Session, which is limited to the topics listed in CA CC 4935,
subject to confidentiality, and, if any unauthorized business is carried out in Executive (meaning stuff not having to
do with the limited list of authorized topics) IS that businesss considered valid?
I would assume not, since in doing said business, state law has been broken in the process of carrying it out.


I'll leave it at that, since I think the rest of the question has to do with Parliamentary Procedure.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8396


06/12/2019 4:09 AM  
HUh? Can you plain English this? What happened that put a bee in your bonnet?

Former HOA President
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 4:13 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/12/2019 4:09 AM
HUh? Can you plain English this? What happened that put a bee in your bonnet?




It would probably be best to hear form someone in CA on this.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8396


06/12/2019 4:57 AM  
Yeah... Think that is a Mary Jane state... LOL!

Former HOA President
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 5:03 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/12/2019 4:57 AM
Yeah... Think that is a Mary Jane state... LOL!




I seem to remember this being a "positive place" or something like that.

Sorry I'm not in the mood for jokes.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:202


06/12/2019 6:12 AM  
She’s asking if decisions made in executive session, that should have been made in open session, are valid.

It’s a question that would realistically only be addressed if any of those decisions are challenged.

There is no oversight entity for HOAs. Boards can get away with whatever they want - state statute or not - until a homeowner speaks up, or they get voted out of office or sued.

RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3764


06/12/2019 8:48 AM  
I re-read some of what was written and again I have no clue what you are asking for. If there is something you feel like shouldn't be discussed in executive session, who are YOU going to go to. What damage has been caused?

Some form of parliamentary procedure is ONLY required for annual or member meeting, not for board or committee meeting. The "trial" you bring up should be handled by either IDR or ADR. IF, you are a board member, you sound know these and how they work because the association is required by statue to send to all homeowners annually.

Been there, Done that
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3123


06/12/2019 8:50 AM  
Just pick up the pieces, make sure everybody's on the same page, get back on the straight-and-narrow, and move forward. That's really all you can do.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


06/12/2019 9:09 AM  
Nicole

What harm has been done?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3764


06/12/2019 9:11 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/12/2019 4:57 AM
Yeah... Think that is a Mary Jane state... LOL!



You know California did legalize pot. You still can't buy it legally in most places because of some of the strict regulations, but we have it. Unlike Alabama, we do a lot of good things here. In case you didn't know it, we have the 5th largest economy in the WORLD.

I am amazed at some of the things posted on this site, but then I turn on the television and see the crap coming from the White House and how people tolerate that nonsense (have to watch my language). If you continually act in that manner, it just emboldens everyone else to do the same.

I think it is time for a very, very, long vacation.

I am out of here!

Been there, Done that
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 9:56 AM  
Does harm need to be done?

I'm pretty sure we have been breaking the law. That exposes board members to liability.
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 10:02 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/12/2019 8:48 AM
I re-read some of what was written and again I have no clue what you are asking for. If there is something you feel like shouldn't be discussed in executive session, who are YOU going to go to. What damage has been caused?

Some form of parliamentary procedure is ONLY required for annual or member meeting, not for board or committee meeting. The "trial" you bring up should be handled by either IDR or ADR. IF, you are a board member, you sound know these and how they work because the association is required by statue to send to all homeowners annually.





What damage has been caused... well, I am others have been led into breaking state law, and the people
who hold the most authority are acting like it's no big deal, but it is to me. I didn't sign up for that,
and no board member should be asked or required to do that.


Our by-laws name Robert's Rules specifically in "what shall govern all corporate proceesdings"

If By-Laws do not mention any specific rules, than what you say is coreect.

I had a conflict with a board member, and IDR was not used...
I was told it would not be used... that it was not available to me,
and that the board would just "wing it" and do whatever.

Instead, a very inappropriate and abusive sceanrio ensued,
which offered no resolution, and the person I had the complaints
about was the person with the most authority in the room...
besides the association lawyer, who was not at all supposed to be part of the
coonversation, and I think was just trotted out for intimidation.
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/12/2019 10:03 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/12/2019 8:48 AM
I re-read some of what was written and again I have no clue what you are asking for. If there is something you feel like shouldn't be discussed in executive session, who are YOU going to go to. What damage has been caused?

Some form of parliamentary procedure is ONLY required for annual or member meeting, not for board or committee meeting. The "trial" you bring up should be handled by either IDR or ADR. IF, you are a board member, you sound know these and how they work because the association is required by statue to send to all homeowners annually.





What damage has been caused... well, I am others have been led into breaking state law, and the people
who hold the most authority are acting like it's no big deal, but it is to me. I didn't sign up for that,
and no board member should be asked or required to do that.


Our by-laws name Robert's Rules specifically in "what shall govern all corporate proceesdings"

If By-Laws do not mention any specific rules, than what you say is coreect.

I had a conflict with a board member, and IDR was not used...
I was told it would not be used... that it was not available to me,
and that the board would just "wing it" and do whatever.

Instead, a very inappropriate and abusive sceanrio ensued,
which offered no resolution, and the person I had the complaints
about was the person with the most authority in the room...
besides the association lawyer, who was not at all supposed to be part of the
coonversation, and I think was just trotted out for intimidation.
AugustinD


Posts:1886


06/14/2019 5:53 PM  
Posted By NicoleS10 on 06/11/2019 11:41 PM
It is the president's job to know our governing documents inside and out, and yet she relies muchly on our hired manager for that.


I believe it is the job of every director, and not just the President, to strive for mastery of the governing documents.

Especially considering a distraught board member recently was told it was [her] "only option" to air her issues with someone they felt was bullying them and abusing power. She was given no notice of a topic on the agenda being about her, and was yelled at
by the manager to "spit it out" when she told the board that she was not given proper notice, and was not prepared (she had notes, evidence, a chronological log of issues).


For what it is worth, in the future when this happens, this board member should refuse to discuss this topic, stating simply that it was not on the agenda, hence improper legal notice was given. As the bullies badger her, she should stand firm and repeat that she will not discuss this as she is not prepared to discuss this. Make sure this goes in the Minutes.

One thing seems to be true: the list of topics an HOA Board can go into is indeed a "hard limit" sort of list, meaning there is no flexibility or "wiggle room"
to do "other stuff" the board just wants to keep behind closed doors... like discussing abuses of power, and bullying by the president, for example.


If it is not on the agenda, they are not supposed to discuss it. But the reality is that Boards violate "sunshine" requirements all the time. It takes threatening suit and all sorts of nastiness.

If Board Member Jessie starts telling a personal story about their lives in Executive Session,
and perhaps mentions a health issue they feel is relevant to their service, it seems ludicrous to imagine a board telling Jessie that now that subject is a secret that should not be shared with others.


I agree this is ludicrous. It is also a sign of ignorant directors. But if you (or this other director) are (is) in the minority, it will be a battle to get the majority to comply with the governing documents and state law. Remember that the majority can tell the HOA attorney xyz and get the HOA attorney to write nasty letters to you, full of falsehoods. It is entirely legal, because the HOA attorney can practice what attorneys practice when they are ordered into pit bull mode: Lying via extreme exaggeration and speculation, all to sully this person's good name and bully them off the board.

Your recourse? You'd probably have to lawyer up. It will be expensive, starting with a few thousand dollars just to have the attorney read your HOA's governing documents.

Regarding the way to handle disputes:

I would skip Robert's Rules and proceed to the Davis-Stirling statute. If you are ready for battle (one you won't win but you likely won't lose, either), consider doing the following: In a formal letter, mailed certified mail, I'd list the violations of the statute's executive session requirements; ask the board to cease violating these; and ask them to do so starting at the next executive session. When the board fails to do so, report back here for the next step.

Lastly, if the President is harassing you, you can seek court-ordered injunctive relief, starting with an informal demand letter. This is a pretty extreme option. It is hard to tell what exactly is going on, but it sounds like this might be applicable.

I do predict that fighting this board majority (or President and manager) will result in a HOA war. The President and manager will spend members' money on the HOA attorney to legally harass and intimidate you. Are you ready to spend your own money, and a lot of it, to get some justice? If not, I think you might be better off fighting your battles as an ordinary member (armed with Davis-Stirling) and not as a director. At least then you do not have to be screamed at by an out-of-control idiot President and, for goodness sake, an employee of the HOA (who ought to keep his mouth shut until a board majority gives him a direction).

I do not like your chances of prevailing, Nicole. It is easy to lose perspective when you are on the side of truth. But the reality is that power trumps truth all the time.
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/16/2019 12:51 AM  
Augustin D
Is there any way I could talk with you somehow not in the main foum?
AugustinD


Posts:1886


06/16/2019 9:07 AM  
Hi Nicole, it's fine to email me at augustin1919[at]gmail.com
NicoleS10
(California)

Posts:42


06/28/2019 3:47 AM  
Hello, are you around? I have another question for you (I emailed)
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