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Subject:  Definition of Minutes
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KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1343


07/08/2008 11:25 PM  
At my last HOA meeting the minutes were handed out. Printed on the minutes was a typed letter from the HOA's lawyer. The letter was originally sent to my brothers and I. The names were blacked out but in small print beneath the copy of the letter stated that the letter was not part of the minutes. What was included in the minutes was a paragraph explaining that a "similar" case occurred in another neighborhood and the HOA won. I put similar in parentheses because that case mentioned was a collections case, while we were not pursuing legal action, only requesting information from the board.

I was a bit confused. Since it was printed on the minutes and handed out, wouldn't that make it part of the minutes? The board did not make mention of this letter at all, but I assume it was placed for those at the meeting to see that the HOA was actively pursuing those who did not necessarily agree with their actions.

What exactly defines the minutes? The Bylaws? Are they even required? What can and cannot be included in the minutes? Who can issue them?
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/09/2008 5:58 AM  
I would guess that the letter was printed on the same page to save some paper. But normally a letter such as you mentioned would not be part of the minutes. The minutes should contain a brief synopsis of what occurred at the meeting including a list of motions and what actions were taken on them.

I would suggest that you talk with your neighbors and get a feel for the current board and their choice of lawyer too. I would be highly inclined to vote against any board member I felt was trying to suppress getting information. And any kind of veiled threat just wouldn't be taken lightly by myself.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1343


07/09/2008 7:41 AM  
Unfortunately we are not allowed to vote. We never became members of the HOA because they are mandating permanent membership once joined and most neighbors do not participate, or have no real interest.

Its disappointing, most homeowners don't even know the names of the Board Members, who they are, or what they sign when they come door-to-door. From what I gather from visiting the meeting, those who do attend are like minded individuals who desire greater restrictions (they want renters out, surveillance in place, and everything to be uniform).

Those who were interested in any opposing view found the minutes to be interesting and they took them to show their lawyers, but I wasn't sure if they had a right to disclose that letter to the neighborhood considering it was a correspondence between my family and their lawyer.

We do plan on contacting the Florida Bar Association (in regards to the content of the letter and the disclosure), as well as further dealings with them, but going into the next meeting, I would like to be even more prepared.
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


07/09/2008 4:22 PM  
Usually an "attachment" to the minutes is referenced within the minutes. Any report from a committee, some communications and, of course, the financial report become attachments, and is (are) a part of the "approved" minutes.

I can't believe that a copy of a letter was just "there" without it being tied to either a discussion or vote. Ask 1) why the letter was attached to the minutes and 2) if the letter is part of the "approved" minutes, and if so, why.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/10/2008 9:37 AM  
The biggest problem I see is that they have breached their confidentiality with the attorney. And that letter is now in the public and fully admissible in any court action to which it may pertain. Since they did redact your names (and other identifying features I assume) they probably have not caused any harm to you.

I fail to see why you bother though. Clearly this association is not for you. Instead you might want to focus your attention on forming an association that will benefit any who wish to join it. It could even be one for the express purpose of ensuring that no additional burdens are placed on any property in the neighborhood.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


07/10/2008 12:00 PM  
Kevin I have a question, having followed your posts about the HOA trying to force you and your brother to join and your refusal to. Why do they let you a no-member attend their meetings?

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


07/10/2008 12:27 PM  

Glen,

I still cannot grasp the concept of being voluntary in the HOA. Either you are required or no one is. How are the members and non members treated as for enforcement and common expenses? All of my experiences are manditory membership. Are they allowed to vote and if they do, why? Someone needs to enlighten me. As a documents person, I find this system to be difficult to work with.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


07/10/2008 12:45 PM  
Posted By DonnaS on 07/10/2008 12:27 PM

Glen,

I still cannot grasp the concept of being voluntary in the HOA. Either you are required or no one is. How are the members and non members treated as for enforcement and common expenses? All of my experiences are manditory membership. Are they allowed to vote and if they do, why? Someone needs to enlighten me. As a documents person, I find this system to be difficult to work with.



Donna I too am mystified by the concept of a voluntary HOA the very nature of a HOA makes a voluntary HOA seems like an oxymoron but they do exist. Most have no common elements to maintain and voluntarily agree to hold themselves to certain standards. Often the common elements they do have are recreational amenities which for a fee (the HOA dues) you can use.

In Kevin's case either by design or a mistake of the developer's attorney (I put that in just for you DJ) his mother belonged to what was evidently a voluntary HOA and he & his brother inherited the place. The HOA is trying to convert to a mandatory HOA and is trying to force them to join.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/10/2008 2:22 PM  
I think it is probably better to refer to voluntary associations as "Neighborhood Associations." But since there is no such thing as a definition police...

Seriously though there are many areas with voluntary associations. And evidently some that decide they like the idea of mandatory associations and then work to create them. Now at least in Texas, property ownership is very rights intensive. Thus I would think it impossible to force a homeowner to join an HOA without having established the restrictive covenant by choice.

But I still wonder why anyone would want to spend their time at meetings of an organization they are in a lawsuit against. I would tend to think of that is just being a trouble maker.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


07/10/2008 5:50 PM  
Posted By KirkW1 on 07/10/2008 2:22 PM

But I still wonder why anyone would want to spend their time at meetings of an organization they are in a lawsuit against. I would tend to think of that is just being a trouble maker.



I think it's a great way to gather intelligence on the other side. I was just perplexed as to why the other side allowed it.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/12/2008 1:00 PM  
Some voluntary assns exist as a result of a mandatory assn having been terminated and a group of the orginal mandatory HOA members decided to continue the HOA and maintain the common areas. Or, in some instances, the developer set up a voluntary assn, for whatever reason -- there may not be any common areas but there are CCRs. Because the CCRs apply to all property owners,the HOA can enforce the CCRs against even those who do not choose to belong. There was a recent case in AZ where a voluntary HOA was successful in getting a court order against a non-member to abide by the CCRs. On the other hand, there are properties in many communities that have CCRs but no HOA -- mandatory or otherwise. In this case, each individual property owner can enforce the CCRs through the courts.
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