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Subject: Refusing to allow access to minutes
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SC
(Georgia)

Posts:38


09/23/2007 10:57 AM  
Can the President tell the Secretary not to allow the new Board member to review the prior year's minutes, even if they are relevant to current discussions? Can a majority of the Board vote to refuse individual resident requests for review of any minutes?

Below are what our by-laws say. We do not have sunshine laws for HOA in our state. (Georgia)

The Board of directors shall have the following duties:
a. To cause to be maintained records of the actions of the Board of Directors and of the meetings of the Association; financial records and books of account of the Association, maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applicable to organizations of the type and character of the Association, and an account applicable to each Lot which shall contain the amount of each assessment and charges theron, the dates when due, the amounts paid theron and the balance due; copies of the Declaration, the Articles of Incorporation, these By-Laws and the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Board of Directors, which documents or instruments will be available for inspection during reasonable business hours by Lot Owners and their agents.

I'm not sure if the "inspection" part refers to the meeting and financial records or only HOA governing documents.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


09/23/2007 11:06 AM  

NO, No and NO, Every member of your association has the right by ownership, to inspect every and all minutes, budgets and expenses of the association. You will have to follow any procedure that they have in place such as requesting and viewing at specific times but you are entitled to see them all.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/23/2007 1:11 PM  
Sc, if you have a Rules & Regulations book or in the by-laws, see if there are designated times or dates pertaining to when you can view/copy the minutes. We require a written request on the 1st or 15th and we respond within 10 days.
SC
(Georgia)

Posts:38


09/23/2007 1:14 PM  
I copied the exact paragraph in the by-laws above. That's all we have.There is no designated time. We are a self-managed association.
JoeW1
(New York)

Posts:728


09/23/2007 3:13 PM  
Posted By SC on 09/23/2007 1:14 PM
I copied the exact paragraph in the by-laws above. That's all we have.There is no designated time. We are a self-managed association.




SC - You do have a designated time to review the minutes which is during regular business hours. Every member of your association has the right to review association documents. Sounds like the Board is afraid of something.
JeanneK3
(Maryland)

Posts:562


09/23/2007 4:51 PM  
I agree with JoeW1. Looks to me that the Board is afraid to let the truth be known.
Jadedone4
(Virginia)

Posts:495


09/23/2007 9:17 PM  
JoeW, Jeanne, the "truth" may simply be that the posters has a poor recording board. The bylaws do speak to how a resident can request the minutes and other documents - I would suggest that the poster draft a simple letter (sent via USPS certified mail) to the President and Secretary, requesting access, and what provisions they believe to be appropriate (times to review, photocopying charges etc..). I would also suggest to the poster that he/she get other owners/members involved in this letter (treat as a petition) so that there is some backing to the having the board address. Also, depending on the board's meeting schedule (monthly, quarterly, annual, etc) it would be a good idea to also attend a meeting and have the board address the access of owners/members in open session.
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


09/24/2007 9:06 AM  
TITLE 14. CORPORATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS, AND ASSOCIATIONS
CHAPTER 3. NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS
ARTICLE 16. RECORDS AND REPORTS
PART 1. RECORDS
O.C.G.A. § 14-3-1602 (2007)
§ 14-3-1602. Members' right to copy and inspect records

(a) A corporation shall keep a copy of the following records:

(1) Its articles or restated articles of incorporation and all amendments to them currently in effect;

(2) Its bylaws or restated bylaws and all amendments to them currently in effect;

(3) Resolutions adopted by either its members or board of directors increasing or decreasing the number of directors or the classification of directors, or relating to the characteristics, qualifications, rights, limitations, and obligations of members or any class or category of members;

(4) Resolutions adopted by either its members or board of directors relating to the characteristics, qualifications, rights, limitations, and obligations of members or any class or category of members;

(5) The minutes of all meetings of members, executed waivers of notice of meetings, and executed consents, delivered in writing or by electronic transmission, evidencing all actions taken or approved by the members without a meeting, for the past three years;

(6) All communications in writing or by electronic transmission to members generally within the past three years, including the financial statements furnished for the past three years under Code Section 14-3-1620;

(7) A list of the names and business or home addresses of its current directors and officers; and

(8) Its most recent annual registration delivered to the Secretary of State under Code Section 14-3-1622.

(b) A member is entitled to inspect and copy, at a reasonable time and location specified by the corporation, any of the records of the corporation described in subsection (a) of this Code section if the member gives the corporation written notice or a written demand at least five business days before the date on which the member wishes to inspect and copy.

(c) A member is entitled to inspect and copy, at a reasonable time and reasonable location specified by the corporation, any of the following records of the corporation if the member meets the requirements of subsection (d) of this Code section and gives the corporation written notice at least five business days before the date on which the member wishes to inspect and copy:

(1) Excerpts from minutes of any meeting of the board of directors, records of any action of a committee of the board of directors while acting in place of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation, minutes of any meeting of the members, and records of action taken by the members or the board of directors without a meeting, to the extent not subject to inspection under subsection (a) of this Code section;

(2) Accounting records of the corporation; and

(3) Subject to Code Section 14-3-1605, the membership list.

(d) A member may inspect and copy the records identified in subsection (c) of this Code section only if:

(1) The member's demand is made in good faith and for a proper purpose that is reasonably relevant to the member's legitimate interest as a member;

(2) The member describes with reasonable particularity the purpose and the records the member desires to inspect;

(3) The records are directly connected with this purpose; and

(4) The records are to be used only for the stated purpose.

(e) This Code section does not affect:

(1) The right of a member to inspect records under Code Section 14-3-720 or, if the member is in litigation with the corporation, to the same extent as any other litigant; or

(2) The power of a court, independently of this chapter, to compel the production of corporate records for examination.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 14-3-1602, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 465, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 508, § 62.


BonnieL2
(Georgia)

Posts:2


09/25/2007 7:58 AM  

Hi,
Also a HOA in Georgia, but I feel HOA's are covered under Georgia's sunshine laws. If you look at the last sentence from the following excerpt from the "Georgia Sunshine Law, A Citizens Guide to Open Government" Third Edition 2001, you will see that any private entity performing the duties of a government falls under these laws. Also any authority established pursuant to Georgia law, which your HOA is if you have recorded covenants and are incorporated, falls under these laws. I also think HOA members fall into the "agency" category if, like our HOA, all of the budget is received from members. If you can convince yourself and the other members of your HOA that your do have rights under the Sunshine Law, exercise these rights and lawfully request the records you desire. Failure of the board to honor your request should give you some insight into just how democratic your association will not be under this leadership. I have attached a pdf of the Guide to Open Government, should you want to read the entire document.

"SUNSHINE LAWS
Both the Open Meetings Law and the Open Records Law apply to all entities which are an “agency” of the
state or local government in Georgia. In addition, the Public Records Law applies to associations whose
members are themselves “agencies” if the association itself receives a substantial part of its budget from
agencies.
The term “agency” is broadly defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1) to include the following:
? Every state department, agency, board, bureau, commission, public corporation, and
authority;
? Every county, municipal corporation, school district and other political subdivision;
? Every department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority and similar body of
each county, municipal corporation or other political subdivision of the state;
? Every city, county, regional or other authority established pursuant to state law; and;
? Non-profit organizations that receive more than one-third of their funds from a direct
allocation of state funds from the governing authority of an agency.
All private entities that carry out governmental functions are subject to the Sunshine Laws."

Attachment: 1925581794371.pdf

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


09/25/2007 9:08 AM  
In Colorado Common Interest Ownership Communities are required by state statute, CCIOA, to establish Rules and Regulations on Inspection and Copying of Association Records. Following is an example.

Rules and Regulations on Inspection and Copying of Association Records

The records of the Association shall be reasonably available for inspection and copying during normal working hours to a Unit Owner, or their appointed representative, in response to their good faith request for a proper Association purpose. The Association may withhold records such as those protected by attorney-client privilege and information which might be used for soliciting purposes. No owner shall disclose Association information which can be used for soliciting purposes. Privacy concerns, however, are narrowly construed. For example, despite what might be embarrassing to a homeowner, delinquent account information can not be withheld from an Owner if the request is made in good faith and for a proper purpose.

The Owner shall submit a written request to the Registered Agent providing a) Name, b) Address, c) Date, d) purpose, e) Specific records for which copies are requested, f) Specific records for which only onsite review under supervision are requested. Upon receipt of a request the Agent shall contact the Owner to schedule a meeting within five business days and advise on the cost involved.

In addition, the Association shall disclose certain information to all Unit Owners annually and to an Owner when selling of a Unit. Disclosure of information may be accomplished by various means: (1) maintaining a binder at the Registered Agent’s office; (2) sending by E-mail upon request; (3) posting on an internet web page with accompanying notice of the web address via first-class mail or E-mail; (4) first-class mail; and (5) personal delivery.

Information which shall be disclosed includes:
a) The name of the Association; the name of the Association’s designated Agent and Management Company, if any; physical address and phone number for both the Association and the designated Agent and Management Company, if any; and if the Association address, designated Agent, or Management Company changes then Owners shall be advised within 90 days;
b) The Declaration and amendments to the Declaration with the initial recorded date, and reception number or book and page;
c) The Articles of Incorporation and amendments thereto; current Bylaws; and all current Rules and Regulations;
d) The date the fiscal year commences; operating and reserve budgets for the current fiscal year; most recent Annual financial statements including a Balance Sheet and Income Statement; and report on results of any financial review or audit preceding the current annual disclosure;
e) The current regular assessment and special assessments, if any;
f) A list of all Association Insurance policies, including Property, General Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, and Fidelity. Such list shall include the Company and Agent’s names, Policy limits, deductibles, additional named insureds, and expiration dates;
g) Minutes of Member and Board meetings for the last year; and
h) Responsible Governance Policies, which shall include maintaining accounting records using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the seven required Rules and Regulations listed in Colorado Statute 38-33,3-209.5 (1) (b) : Enforcement of Covenants and Rules, including Notice and Hearing procedures and the schedule of fines; Collection of unpaid Assessments; Inspection and copying of Association records by Owners; Conduct of meetings; Handling conflicts of interest involving Board members; Investment of reserve funds; Procedures for the adoption and amendment of Policies, Procedures, and Rules.
ShaunH
(Georgia)

Posts:1


09/30/2020 9:54 AM  
I understand the GA Sunshine Laws only apply to GA government, not private HOA's.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:565


09/30/2020 10:42 AM  
13 year old thread--what may have been relevant then may have changed by now
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17008


09/30/2020 5:11 PM  
Posted By ShaunH on 09/30/2020 9:54 AM
I understand the GA Sunshine Laws only apply to GA government, not private HOA's.




That is true.

You would need to look at property and corporate statutes along with governing documents.


Again, it's best not to reactivate old threads as laws and methodologies change.
What may have been good advice a year ago can be bad advice today.

Therefore, it's best to start a new thread.
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