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Subject: meeting
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ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:20


06/17/2021 1:51 PM  
can the members of an hoa call a meeting without the board in attendance. A member filed a lawsuit against the board for non compliance of state laws. There were a minimum of 19 violations by the Board stated in the legal claim. The lawsuit (settled out of court) settlement stated that the board must obey the laws, and the plaintiff had all legal fees reinbursed. The board is claiming that this is a superfluous lawsuit that should have never been filed. The Board is not releasing the settlement document to the homeowners. The plaintiff would like to release the document and have a meeting only with the members to explain the efforts made before the lawsuit was filed. Do board members have to attend?
JackJ9


Posts:0


06/17/2021 2:16 PM  
A person can hold a private gathering and invite whomever they want to invite and not invite whomever they don't want to invite.

However, I believe that things settled out of court usually have a non-disclosure clause, so I am not sure that the plantiff is free to discuss the settlement.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


06/17/2021 3:26 PM  
Was there a nondisclosure clause in the settlement? You may want to check the settlement agreement (this sounds like you're the homeowner). If so, skip it

If the terms were recorded in the court records,, people can stop by the clerks office and read the case for themselves or the owner (whoever it is) can distribute copies of the settlement and let the neighbors decide who's right

The board is bound to hear about this meeting and then you'll have another round of conflict, so I have to wonder what is the point of this meeting? The owner won, the board isn't happy (no one's happy when they lose) and now its time to move on.

Right now, emotions are raw, so both sides need to sit down and cool off. It may be after doing sothe board may realize it was wrong and apologize. But if they don't, the homeowners can always decide to vote out or even recall them. Perhaps the homeowner can get involved in that movement, maybe even run for a seat.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/17/2021 3:36 PM  
Posted By ElaineT on 06/17/2021 1:51 PM
The lawsuit (settled out of court) settlement stated that the board must obey the laws, and the plaintiff had all legal fees reinbursed. The board is claiming that this is a superfluous lawsuit that should have never been filed.
I figure lawsuit success like this does not happen very often. ElaineT, any chance you can post some of the juicier excerpts from the judge's ruling?

Is anyone stepping up to replace these directors at the next election? Or has replacement already happened?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


06/17/2021 3:51 PM  
Sure you can call a board meeting, Caveat, there needs to be a quorum of directors to conduct said meeting.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


06/17/2021 3:58 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/17/2021 3:26 PM
Was there a nondisclosure clause in the settlement? You may want to check the settlement agreement (this sounds like you're the homeowner). If so, skip it

If the terms were recorded in the court records,, people can stop by the clerks office and read the case for themselves or the owner (whoever it is) can distribute copies of the settlement and let the neighbors decide who's right

The board is bound to hear about this meeting and then you'll have another round of conflict, so I have to wonder what is the point of this meeting? The owner won, the board isn't happy (no one's happy when they lose) and now its time to move on.

Right now, emotions are raw, so both sides need to sit down and cool off. It may be after doing sothe board may realize it was wrong and apologize. But if they don't, the homeowners can always decide to vote out or even recall them. Perhaps the homeowner can get involved in that movement, maybe even run for a seat.





NDA aside, I feel that an NDA would allow homeowners to be read in. Personally I feel the BOD got their butts whomped and are sore losers. They should disclose providing no NDA is attached.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1689


06/17/2021 4:21 PM  
Assuming the meeting is not meant to be an official association activity, you are free to invite anyone you want to meet/gather/party, etc.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/17/2021 5:03 PM  
If it's an official members meeting per your Bylaws, you must invite directors assuming they are members of your association. In CA, anyway, even members in violation or who'e been leined still are permitted to attend meetings of the members. So it depends on your Bylaws and VT statutes--possibly VT corporations code.

If the plaintiff doesn't want to invite the Board members, s/he simply sends out a bunch of invites to owners for a get together of assn members. Based on what you wrote, Elaine, this meeting could be the start of a campaign to replace these directors at your next election (easiest way) or sooner by recall.

I'd be very interested in details too. Often posters want to know about taking directors to court and "what their chances are." A case that an owner won might be very helpful to others here.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


06/17/2021 5:30 PM  
If the association had to pay a considerable amount of money, they can't keep that from the homeowners forever- if they're saying the lawsuit shouldn't have been filed, they're only trying to spin the story so they won't look as bad as they're going to look. Maybe this owner should simply mail or email copies of the settlement. The sit back and watch the explosion

However, as delightful as that sounds the association still needs to be run and it would be unfortunate if this turns into a gigantic passing match with everyone taking side. As volatile as people have become these days. I'd hate to see someone get so worked up he or she stomps over to the owner's house and next thing you know there's a story 9n the evening news.

Have your meeting but consider what you want to get out of it. There are a variety of battles that can make up a war, so you need to think ahead to the next one - because this will set off another and you want next to yo be xta fingers at the end.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/17/2021 9:48 PM  
Did the settlement include an injunction that requires the board to follow the law.
sometimes a settlement will include a permanent injunction requiring the party sued to do something.

If there was one, then It doesn't make sense that it would have a nondisclosure agreement.

ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:20


06/22/2021 2:28 PM  
There is no confidentiality clause and the settlement has not been sent to the owners. This a second home residence and they are mainly skiers. One of my lawyer's concerns is that the residents would not talk to me anymore. I live here most of the year and they don't talk to me anyway. My friends are permanent residents. I've lived in this town for 20 years. Consider this if you are filing a suit.

If the president does not send out the settlement within 2 weeks, I will send it out with an invitation for a "gathering" to explain the law suit and its future implications for the residents. Incidentally, the president is a lawyer. I am preparing the notes for another law suit based on "Selective enforcement". Because I have been so vocal, the board has treated me differently and it on tape from the zoom meetings.

As for the current law suit, after attempting to work with the board, sending letters to the residents (we were not allowed to have each other's email addresses--which is illegal), sending two letters to the president asking for records, I finally filed the law suit.

There were over 19 state law and by-law violations (stopped counting), the Property Manager was running the meetings (he was fired by the defendant's lawyer which was an unexpected gift), there are no rules or regulations so the property manager could treat you well if he liked you, and we have never had a board meeting.

Because the property manager was also the builder of the condos and the real estate agent, I could not use a local lawyer because of conflict of interest. However, I found a lawyer who was involved in HOA cases in the past with no conflict. It makes all the difference when you have a lawyer who listens to the nuisances and personality of the condo association.

As for the settlement, I was reimbursed for all my legal fees, $12,500. The board must obey the laws and I have the right to go back to court if they don't. They were also required to formulate rules/regulations and hire a property manager. They violated the laws and there was an ethics violation when they hired the property manager who is a personal friend of the fired property manager. (When will they learn?)

I would like to share any information with you so you can have the same success as I did. There is much interest in the procedures locally because second home owners are treated like second class citizens. Can I give you my email address on this blog. Let mer know how I can help?


MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/22/2021 3:22 PM  
You do realize when you sue your HOA your suing yourself and your neighbors. So why would you think any of the members want to talk to you? They would if they had a dog in this hunt. Which if they did would benefit not only you but your fellow members your trying to protect/save etc...

You have to take on the responsibility and knowledge that the consequence of your lawsuit is that you are taking money out of your neighbor's pockets. So I don't expect you to get much support unless you change this to more of a class action suit. Which if you READ your documents is unnecessary because a HOA runs by the power of majority.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/22/2021 3:36 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/22/2021 3:22 PM
So I don't expect you to get much support unless you change this to more of a class action suit. Which if you READ your documents is unnecessary because a HOA runs by the power of majority.
The power of Δ-8 THC.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/22/2021 3:43 PM  
Posted By ElaineT on 06/22/2021 2:28 PM
There were over 19 state law and by-law violations (stopped counting), the Property Manager was running the meetings (he was fired by the defendant's lawyer which was an unexpected gift)
Golly. Before this thread, I had not heard of a condominium declaration that authorizes the condo association attorney to fire the property manager. By any chance does your condo declaration also authorize the condo association attorney to fire the board's directors?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/22/2021 4:27 PM  
Elaine wants her cake and wants to eat it also.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


06/23/2021 6:38 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/22/2021 4:27 PM
Elaine wants her cake and wants to eat it also.




Possibky, which is why I'm wondering what is Elaine 's end game. If people wanted to know the details of what bought on the lawsuit they would have already asked, especially if the board is trying to say it was all BS. Elaine won, so it would appear a judge didn't see it that way.

So, Elaine, are you trying to reach the people who don't talk to you any of the group that lives there permanently? What do you want to see happen afterwards? If this is the start of a movement to sack the board, that's ok, but are you prepared to respond if your neighbors are with the board and get mad at you because they think assessments will increase because the money's needed to pay you off? Has the rumor mill been working overtime and you want to get your side of the story out there? That's understandable, but If you're planning to sue the board again for something else, this could backfire.

Why not have a chat with your attorney first to get his or her take, especially if another lawsuit is in the future? You don't want to do anything to mess up your chances, so there may be another way to get the truth out there.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/23/2021 8:42 AM  
I think Sheila has good questions & ideas here.

What is "The power of Δ-8 THC.," Augustin.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/23/2021 8:54 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 06/23/2021 8:42 AM
What is "The power of Δ-8 THC"
A snarky response suggesting someone was posting while enjoying, say, a marijuana brownie containing the inevitably high, mental health destroying, dosage of the key ingredients.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/23/2021 9:55 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/23/2021 8:54 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 06/23/2021 8:42 AM
What is "The power of Δ-8 THC"
A snarky response suggesting someone was posting while enjoying, say, a marijuana brownie containing the inevitably high, mental health destroying, dosage of the key ingredients.



I want one.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


06/23/2021 11:11 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/23/2021 9:55 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/23/2021 8:54 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 06/23/2021 8:42 AM
What is "The power of Δ-8 THC"
A snarky response suggesting someone was posting while enjoying, say, a marijuana brownie containing the inevitably high, mental health destroying, dosage of the key ingredients.



I want one.




I'll also take one if mine can skip the THC and bring on the CBD - and has M & M's! (plain, that is)
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/23/2021 11:20 AM  
I believe marijuana today is not what it used to be. Today it's much stronger and much more addictive. Get acquainted (or rather, try to get acquainted) with a few regular users, and you may see my meaning. I believe today's pot is dangerous, addictive stuff compared to what was available in the 1960s-1970s. I think legislators will come to rue the de-regulation.

I do not joke about its use anymore. I do not waste time with even self-described casual users. If they want to escape reality in a manner that affects their mental health in the long run, fine. Just stay away from me.

I am pleased more and more folks, sick of the harm their stoner friends are causing to relationships and society, are saying not merely, "No thanks," but snarling, "No! Not on your life will I put this cr-p into my system."
ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:20


06/23/2021 1:24 PM  
I appreciate everyone's response. It gives me a broader perspective and different opinions. I have been in communication with my lawyer regarding the next steps. He is in agreement to send the settlement documents to the residents and have a gathering to answer any questions they have.

For background, there are 36 second homeowner condos here. Mostly used in the winter. Most families come Presidents weekend and New Years, otherwise the. condos are vacant the rest of the year. There are no permanent residents. Money is not an issue with the majority of these residents.


I will give the President until July 1st to send out the settlement document and then I will schedule a gathering. Mainly, I will discuss the attempts that were made to "right the ship" before the lawsuit was filed, discuss the terms of the settlement which include my ability to file additional legal claims when the board violates the laws. and answer questions.

Let the members decide the next course of action.

Thanks again.








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AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/23/2021 1:30 PM  
Posted By ElaineT on 06/23/2021 1:24 PM
I will give the President until July 1st to send out the settlement document
I think delivering ultimatums to those in power is not a strategy and typically results in less cooperation, not more.

ElaineT, are you going to run for the Board? This is the million dollar question to me.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/23/2021 3:11 PM  
So your "fighting" on the behalf of snowbirds who don't care? Know your audience before jumping into the ocean. Did anyone ask or care about any of this? Now you want them too? Do you really think they will or hoping they will?

Let me tell you a story. Our HOA is across the street from an Elementary school. We have a few kids in our HOA/neighborhood. It would be a natural thought that the HOA would want to put in a playground. We did have the common area for it near the pool and already a basketball goal there. So I decided to look into what it would take to get playground equipment, insurance considerations, and installing proper safety guards. Had all the options in hand to present it to the board and membership.

I hold our OPEN meeting and present my idea of a playground to the membership/board. Completely expecting the membership to be in full agreement and excited about the idea. It was plausible and affordable option. The kids had talked to like the idea too.

Low and behold at the meeting I nearly got hogtied and tossed out! The parents were outraged! The owners near the pool gave me dirty looks. I may as well had insulted their mother's cooking! A playground sounds like a great idea does it not???

Well it seems no parent wanted their kids playing and getting hurt. Plus it could attract non-HOA kids to come into the neighborhood. The neighbors near the proposed park complained about the noise level it would cause. This idea could not have been more torn apart in seconds.

My point is that don't go into thinking your doing "good". The ONLY good your doing is for YOU. Don't ASSUME what everyone wants or should want. If they wanted it, then you would have it already... Tread lightly here...

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/23/2021 3:28 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/23/2021 3:11 PM
So your "fighting" on the behalf of snowbirds who don't care? Know your audience before jumping into the ocean. Did anyone ask or care about any of this? Now you want them too? Do you really think they will or hoping they will?

Let me tell you a story. Our HOA is across the street from an Elementary school. We have a few kids in our HOA/neighborhood. It would be a natural thought that the HOA would want to put in a playground. We did have the common area for it near the pool and already a basketball goal there. So I decided to look into what it would take to get playground equipment, insurance considerations, and installing proper safety guards. Had all the options in hand to present it to the board and membership.

I hold our OPEN meeting and present my idea of a playground to the membership/board. Completely expecting the membership to be in full agreement and excited about the idea. It was plausible and affordable option. The kids had talked to like the idea too.

Low and behold at the meeting I nearly got hogtied and tossed out! The parents were outraged! The owners near the pool gave me dirty looks. I may as well had insulted their mother's cooking! A playground sounds like a great idea does it not???

Well it seems no parent wanted their kids playing and getting hurt. Plus it could attract non-HOA kids to come into the neighborhood. The neighbors near the proposed park complained about the noise level it would cause. This idea could not have been more torn apart in seconds.

My point is that don't go into thinking your doing "good". The ONLY good your doing is for YOU. Don't ASSUME what everyone wants or should want. If they wanted it, then you would have it already... Tread lightly here...



Thanks for sharing such useful information! I am going to bookmark for further reading.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/23/2021 4:28 PM  
Just like I already book mark yours... But for the later reading...

Former HOA President
ElaineT
(Vermont)

Posts:20


06/24/2021 5:20 AM  
I do know my audience. They are apathetic and myopic which is characteristic of second home owners. I am doing this because of the blatant violation of state laws even though the president is aware of these requirements. I doubt if the residents will support me but the state laws will. I was in college in the 1960s fighting for the injustices of the Vietnam War and discrimination. Fighting for injustice is still in my system.

As for running for President, I opened the Pandora's box so I need to be part of the solution. I would accept the presidency to put into place all the processes and procedures required by law. I have been a Board President for United Way and been on another HOA board before. I just want this HOA to obey the laws.

I was also a Superintendent of Schools and, often, when I recommended a new idea, I was "creamed" by the some segment of the public. We grow a tough skin when we are in this position and we just keep focusing on what is "just and right". Your concerns were expressed by my lawyer before we filed the court papers.


I have only dealt with the processes and procedures in this lawsuit. I know of one misuse of funds that were used to improve another property that is not part of our community. So finances will be the next bastion that I will investigate. There is no accounting for any of the HOA dues.

Your experiences have really helped me in organizing my thoughts for the "gathering meeting" IF the residents will even come to the zoom meeting. I appreciate any additional thoughts on this matter. Will keep you posted.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/24/2021 6:50 AM  
Posted By ElaineT on 06/24/2021 5:20 AM

As for running for President, I opened the Pandora's box so I need to be part of the solution.
Do you understand that nationwide, most HOA/COA bylaws distinguish between officers (President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer) and directors? Do you understand that at most HOAs/COAs, and pursuant to the Bylaws, the membership elects directors? Do you understand that bylaws usually state that the directors appoint the officers?

I am glad you are willing to step up and serve on the board. But what I describe above are basic definitions, and I see signs you are not aware of these definitions.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/24/2021 9:47 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/24/2021 6:50 AM
Posted By ElaineT on 06/24/2021 5:20 AM

As for running for President, I opened the Pandora's box so I need to be part of the solution.
Do you understand that nationwide, most HOA/COA bylaws distinguish between officers (President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer) and directors? Do you understand that at most HOAs/COAs, and pursuant to the Bylaws, the membership elects directors? Do you understand that bylaws usually state that the directors appoint the officers?

I am glad you are willing to step up and serve on the board. But what I describe above are basic definitions, and I see signs you are not aware of these definitions.



You're signaling out this one person, but your statement applies to most HOA directors in the country!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/24/2021 9:54 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/24/2021 6:50 AM
Posted By ElaineT on 06/24/2021 5:20 AM

As for running for President, I opened the Pandora's box so I need to be part of the solution.
Do you understand that nationwide, most HOA/COA bylaws distinguish between officers (President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer) and directors? Do you understand that at most HOAs/COAs, and pursuant to the Bylaws, the membership elects directors? Do you understand that bylaws usually state that the directors appoint the officers?

I am glad you are willing to step up and serve on the board. But what I describe above are basic definitions, and I see signs you are not aware of these definitions.



It seems Elaine just wants to take charge, proper procedures be damned.

I do agree with her that it can be very frustration when most owners are part-time and really do not care. A small group of year round residents might could take over but it will take a real concentrated effort, not just bytching.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/24/2021 10:00 AM  
Damn those ankle biters.
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