Does a Lack of Formality in an HOA Board Meeting Invalidate any Actions Taken by the Board?

Quick Question: If a board meeting is never called to order,

are the actions voted on relevant?

Quick Answer: A lack of formality does not automatically void out the business of the meeting.

Expanded Answer:  The safest bet for any Board is to use decorum, some form of parliamentary procedure (there several simple guides on the web, just google it), and to follow the laws in the Davis Stirling Act about meetings. The Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act that spans Civil Code Sections 4900-4955 IS IMPORTANT! These sections can be located for free in the Civil Code at your local law library, maybe even the community library?? Or you can find them on the state website at www.ca.gov. Or you can find them in the book on my website at www.californiacondoguru.com called THE DAVIS STIRLING ACT IN PLAIN ENGLISH.

Lots of options to find these laws.

That said, if an owner complains about or tries to reverse any action taken by a Board that fails to follow decorum or the law, a judge may ultimately become involved if a legal complaint is filed in court. A judge may look at various things. One client reported back that although a board had ignored the laws in running meetings, a small claims judge felt sorry for the board members who came in and said they were only volunteers and incapable of understanding complicated laws. The judge denied my client’s requests and gave the board the equivalent of a rap on the knuckle (like the old days) and a warning to find out what the laws and decorum requires for the future, without imposing any penalty or ruling regarding the actions that had been approved by the Board. So don’t expect miracles. A court would be looking for “harm” or damages and is not going to rush to unravel important business decisions.

However, one example of a misstep that would probably get a judge’s attention would be if a board was making decisions without (1) a quorum present (2) at a board meeting.

One more comment: HOAs are subject to this Act, but not the Brown Act which regulates the meeting processes for governmental (public) entities.

 

 

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