Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, January 15, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Circulating self-made proxies before a meeting is announced
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:366


01/13/2021 7:57 AM  
Have you seen owners circulate proxies that they prepared themselves, before an owner meeting is announced?

If so, how did it go for those owners?

In my HOA (in NY), an owner has done that. The property manager tried to stop it. The meeting has not yet been announced.

The proxies are definitely valid (they meet all requirements under applicable law and the HOA's governing documents).

Thanks.
AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 8:28 AM  
Posted By ChrisE8 on 01/13/2021 7:57 AM
The proxies are definitely valid (they meet all requirements under applicable law and the HOA's governing documents).
-- Under the circumstances ChrisE8 gives above, I agree the proxies are valid.

-- What I have seen is the following trial court decision, in a New York trial court, Brodsky v. Board of Managers of Dag Hammarskjold Tower Condominium: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court/1180683.html .

-- As interested, see more discussion at https://www.habitatmag.com/Archive2/196-December-2003/The-Notarized-Proxy

Observations:

-- The lawsuit I cited concerned a condo in New York

-- It appears to be a trial court opinion. (New York strangely calls its trial courts "supreme courts.") As a trial court opinion, it is not binding precedent.

-- The 2003 New York trial Court cites an earlier proxy notarization lawsuit and compares it to the case before the 2003 Court. The Court observes that the present case involves Bylaws that give specifics of how a proxy is to be completed. The earlier lawsuit involved Bylaws that were completely silent with regard to how proxies were to be prepared.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 9:05 AM  
I love Proxies. They are often misunderstood and miss used but that is the writer's/signer's problem, not a Proxy problem. Remember one thing about Proxies. The latest dated one overrides any prior Proxy(s). You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.
AugustinD


Posts:4828


01/13/2021 9:18 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:05 AM
You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.
Ha ha.

[Exhibit C, proxy written on toilet paper is in a clear plastic bag, on the Judge's dais.]

HOA Attorney:
Your Honor, this proxy has about as much value as toilet paper.

Judge:
I see that.

Member's Attorney:
Your Honor, toilet paper was selling for $5 a roll this past April, during the pandemic. And that's in rural Nebraska, your Honor.

Judge:
Fair point.

HOA Attorney:
Your Honor, it's single ply.

Judge:
But Madam HOA Attorney, can you read the writing on the toile... um, alleged proxy?

Member's Attorney:
Of course she can, Your Honor. She's just a snob when it comes to toilet paper.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3670


01/13/2021 11:14 AM  
The board needs to take a stand - send one proxy to each unit and tell homeowners no duplicates of any kind will be accepted. If someone loses a proxy or it gets damaged, they can call the property manager for a replacement. If necessary, keep track of the number of proxies sent out. If dozens of people say they need duplicates, that may be a clue something else is going on.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:434


01/13/2021 11:24 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:05 AM
I love Proxies. They are often misunderstood and miss used but that is the writer's/signer's problem, not a Proxy problem. Remember one thing about Proxies. The latest dated one overrides any prior Proxy(s). You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.



IF you look at Bylaws, the language for elections and annual meeting will state present or by proxy. Since ballots are the norm, proxies become obsolete.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 11:25 AM  
Posted By JohnC77 on 01/13/2021 11:24 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:05 AM
I love Proxies. They are often misunderstood and miss used but that is the writer's/signer's problem, not a Proxy problem. Remember one thing about Proxies. The latest dated one overrides any prior Proxy(s). You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.



IF you look at Bylaws, the language for elections and annual meeting will state present or by proxy. Since ballots are the norm, proxies become obsolete.



Without Proxies, we would never establish a Quorum at our Annual Meetings.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 11:26 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 01/13/2021 11:14 AM
The board needs to take a stand - send one proxy to each unit and tell homeowners no duplicates of any kind will be accepted. If someone loses a proxy or it gets damaged, they can call the property manager for a replacement. If necessary, keep track of the number of proxies sent out. If dozens of people say they need duplicates, that may be a clue something else is going on.



Sorry, but I say that is to controlling and could be illegal to boot.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:434


01/13/2021 11:32 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 11:25 AM
Posted By JohnC77 on 01/13/2021 11:24 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:05 AM
I love Proxies. They are often misunderstood and miss used but that is the writer's/signer's problem, not a Proxy problem. Remember one thing about Proxies. The latest dated one overrides any prior Proxy(s). You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.



IF you look at Bylaws, the language for elections and annual meeting will state present or by proxy. Since ballots are the norm, proxies become obsolete.



Without Proxies, we would never establish a Quorum at our Annual Meetings.



Why can't that be done with a ballot?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10366


01/13/2021 11:44 AM  
Posted By JohnC77 on 01/13/2021 11:32 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 11:25 AM
Posted By JohnC77 on 01/13/2021 11:24 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 9:05 AM
I love Proxies. They are often misunderstood and miss used but that is the writer's/signer's problem, not a Proxy problem. Remember one thing about Proxies. The latest dated one overrides any prior Proxy(s). You could write a Proxy on toilet paper and if properly done, it is legal.



IF you look at Bylaws, the language for elections and annual meeting will state present or by proxy. Since ballots are the norm, proxies become obsolete.



Without Proxies, we would never establish a Quorum at our Annual Meetings.



Why can't that be done with a ballot?




I believe it could but we have no provisions for written ballots and as we have not gotten any complaints about the use of Proxies, we are not willing to further complicate things.

As we allow BOD nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting, a printed ballot might not be valid come the actual election so why go through the effort to create something not up to date? I am open to other methods but we are not willing to do any work on it if not necessary.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4242


01/13/2021 12:24 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/13/2021 11:26 AM
Posted By SheliaH on 01/13/2021 11:14 AM
The board needs to take a stand - send one proxy to each unit and tell homeowners no duplicates of any kind will be accepted. If someone loses a proxy or it gets damaged, they can call the property manager for a replacement. If necessary, keep track of the number of proxies sent out. If dozens of people say they need duplicates, that may be a clue something else is going on.



Sorry, but I say that is to controlling and could be illegal to boot.

It would be illegal in Florida. There are arbitration decisions going back years that uphold the 5 elements that constitute a "valid proxy". Time after time association arguments that "their" proxy must be used are shot down. And yes, a proxy written with crayon and toilet paper could very easily be valid in Florida as long as it complied with FS 720.306(8)(a):

"To be valid, a proxy must be dated, must state the date, time, and place of the meeting for which it was given, and must be signed by the authorized person who executed the proxy."

The condo statute says the same thing albeit in chapter 718.

This cost my HOA $300 after the secretary (a retired legal secretary to boot) sent out blank proxies to the homeowners as part of the "Annual Meeting Info Package" and they failed to include the place of the meeting. When I pointed out the error she became very defensive and claimed that it didn't matter because the Meeting Notice identified the proper location. I pointed out that a Meeting Notice is not a Proxy and that the proxies were still invalid. She ran up a $250 bill with the association attorney so that he could tell her exactly the same thing I had already told her. Then there was an additional $50 for stamps to mail out new proxies.

Now she doesn't like me at all and, needless to say, the feeling is mutual. Some legal secretary.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17180


01/13/2021 2:49 PM  
Chris,

I did this with no issues.

However, it is better to wait for the HOA proxy form and collect proxies then.

The point in waiting is simply to avoid the concerns of the board rejecting the proxies which would cause you to have to decide to file legal action or not to invalidate the election. It's just less grief for you in the long run.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Circulating self-made proxies before a meeting is announced



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement