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Subject: Discussing Member complaints of other Members at a Board Meeting
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Author Messages
HaleyH
(Illinois)

Posts:60


05/19/2021 8:14 AM  
We are a small Illinois self mananged HOA - under 20 units.
I'm on the Board. During a Board Meeting, we discuss how to handle a member's complaint against another member.
Is this to be discussed in an open Board meeting (and not call out each member) OR should these issues be discussed in a closed session? I believe it is to be discussed in an open meeting per our attorney, but can't find their write up at the moment.
(When decision is made to fine a member then that member is given an oppotunity of having a closed hearing to discuss.)
Thanks.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/19/2021 8:42 AM  
If you have open meetings then talk in an open meeting. Closed doors lead to suspicion if that is not already an existing practice. Plus if got something to say say it out loud or it is just talk.

Former HOA President
HaleyH
(Illinois)

Posts:60


05/19/2021 8:54 AM  
Our current Board president is pushing for a closed session to discuss member issues with the intention of not embarrasing a member/s. But I think this is not legal.
Hope to also hear from others.

Thanks.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/19/2021 9:01 AM  
If this is a neighbor to neighbor issue and no HOA violations occurred, your Board should just leave it alone.

If Sue complains against Sam for breaking an HOA rule or covenant, has the Board confirmed this violation? Has Sue proven it with photos or audio recordings?

In CA, alleged violators of rules/covenants are formerly called to a hearing, which can be in executive session. But your attorney says it must be in an open session? I think you need to find an cite the covenant, rule or state statute that requires the open meeting.

Melissa wrote. "... if [you] got something to say say it out loud or it is just talk" does not make sense to me.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


05/19/2021 9:10 AM  
Members complaining about each other isn't a board meeting topic, in my book. It's gossip.

If there is a violation, discuss the violation. That the violation was initially reported by a neighbor shouldn't be relevant, because the alleged violation should have been independently verified by the board or manager prior to bringing it to the table for review.
HaleyH
(Illinois)

Posts:60


05/19/2021 9:22 AM  
You make a good point - the compaints I'm referring to are violations witnessed by a member with pictures.
I should have been clearer.
Question remains - a member in violation of a rule and how the Board should address it - should this be discussed in open meeting or closed meeting.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


05/19/2021 9:29 AM  
Posted By HaleyH on 05/19/2021 9:22 AM
You make a good point - the compaints I'm referring to are violations witnessed by a member with pictures.
I should have been clearer.
Question remains - a member in violation of a rule and how the Board should address it - should this be discussed in open meeting or closed meeting.




Have you googled "Illinois HOA open meetings" to see if there is any state statute that would address what can and can't be discussed in closed session?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/19/2021 9:34 AM  
If you can not say it out loud then it is whispered rumors. It is something do not really want to do yourself but others do it for you.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/19/2021 11:35 AM  
Haley

Basically what you have is a violation reported by a home owner. The first duty of the BOD is to verify if the violation exists. If the violation exists then address it. If it does not exist, ignore it.

Personally I would not want my BOD discussing any accusation in public. It should be kept private until proven.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/19/2021 11:52 AM  
With Barbara, Haley, you need to check your own governing documents about hearings, owner discipline, etc. You also need to check the IL Open meeting requirements.

Even if an open meeting IS required, there's no need to mention anyone's names that I can think of. focus on the alleged violation.

Melissa...???
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/19/2021 12:13 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/19/2021 11:35 AM

Basically what you have is a violation reported by a home owner.


A complaint against against a owner is not a violation against an owner. Two separate issues.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1806


05/20/2021 7:28 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/19/2021 11:35 AM
Haley

Basically what you have is a violation reported by a home owner. The first duty of the BOD is to verify if the violation exists. If the violation exists then address it. If it does not exist, ignore it.

Personally I would not want my BOD discussing any accusation in public. It should be kept private until proven.




This.

If there is a violation, then the "victim" is technically the HOA and entire community, which removes the person who reports the violation allegation. It's between the HOA and the offending owner in my opinion.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/20/2021 11:13 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/19/2021 12:13 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/19/2021 11:35 AM

Basically what you have is a violation reported by a home owner.


A complaint against against a owner is not a violation against an owner. Two separate issues.




Probably should have said:

Basically what you have is a potential violation reported by a home owner
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/20/2021 11:16 AM  
Our MC plays the heavy and notifies an owner about any violation. This is after the BOD has investigated the alleged violation (no matter how we find out) and notifies the MC to proceed.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/20/2021 2:41 PM  
Posted By HaleyH on 05/19/2021 8:14 AM

Is this to be discussed in an open Board meeting (and not call out each member) OR should these issues be discussed in a closed session? I believe it is to be discussed in an open meeting per our attorney, but can't find their write up at the moment.
(When decision is made to fine a member then that member is given an oppotunity of having a closed hearing to discuss.)
-- How come you did not check Illinois's Common Interest Community Association Act? From the latter:

"Meetings of the board shall be open to any unit owner, except that the board may close any portion of a noticed meeting or meet separately from a noticed meeting: ... (iv) to discuss violations of rules and regulations of the association, (v) to discuss a member's or unit owner's unpaid share of common expenses,... Any vote on these matters shall be taken at a meeting or portion thereof open to any member."

See https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=3273&ChapterID=62&SeqStart=100000&SeqEnd=1850000

The Illinois Condo Act says the same.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/20/2021 5:25 PM  
Fine citation, Augustin. I'm sure Haley appreciates you doing the homework. And, now, Haley, you & you board can see where to look these things up. Again, check your own Bylaws, too.
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