Case Discussions

Back to homepage

Case Update: Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC (IL)

In the case of Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC, the Illinois Supreme Court will review an issue pertinent to the collection of up to six months of a foreclosed owner’s assessments from a subsequent purchaser under Section

Read More

“Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations

The individual insured, Robert Primo, previously served as a director and treasurer of Briar Green Condominium Association in Houston, Texas. In 2008 and, shortly before resigning, Primo wrote himself two checks from Briar Green’s account totaling roughly $100,000. Briar Green

Read More

Lawyer wins $160,000 judgment against condo neighbours

An Ottawa lawyer and aspiring judge has won $160,000 in damages in a defamation lawsuit he brought against neighbours of a condominium he owns in Costa Rica.   David McNairn brought the action in Ontario, after two neighbours sent emails

Read More

The Legality of Post-Bankruptcy Condo or Homeowner Association Assessments

A recent bankruptcy case illustrates how bankruptcy affects condominium or homeowner’s association assessments. The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that a condominium association was not in contempt when it attempted to collect post-bankruptcy assessments from debtors

Read More

When Can Employer be Liable for Employee Drinking and Driving?

In some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently

Read More

Slip and Falls on the Condominium Premises and the Open and Obvious Doctrine

A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “Legal Update: Slip and Fall on the Condominium Premises: Does the Condominium Owe a Statutory Duty to Its Co-owners?” The article centered around a 2015 published decision by the Michigan Court

Read More

Appeals court upholds constitutionality of lump sum association fee statute (LA)

Homeowners in the Eastover subdivision in New Orleans lost an appeal at the Louisiana Fourth District Circuit Court of Appeal, which found a state statute that facilitated the collection of association dues to be constitutional.  In a March 22 ruling,

Read More

Appeals Court Revives Fair Housing Act ‘Blog Post Harassment’ Lawsuit

A recent ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals menaces free speech in condominiums, apartment buildings, and the Internet. It allowed individual bloggers to be sued because their blog posts allegedly created a “hostile housing environment” for condo residents

Read More

Why Condo Associations Are Sweating After A Judge’s Ruling (HI)

It’s probably going to take years to unravel the legal and financial uncertainty now facing condominium associations and law firms that used nonjudicial foreclosures — private sales without supervision by courts — to collect unpaid maintenance fees or other assessments

Read More

Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit

In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were (in line with rights prescribed to them under federal law) keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex. Among

Read More

Access to HOA Membership List Must be for a Proper Purpose (CA)

As part of the ongoing management of a homeowners association (“HOA”), the HOA is obligated to prepare and maintain certain “association records,” most of which must be made available for inspection by the HOA’s members. However, the right to inspect

Read More

Selective Enforcement and Violations When Installing Hardwood Floors (FL)

Earlier this year the Third District Court of Appeals narrowed two significant unit owner defenses to enforcement actions, selective enforcement and waiver/ estoppel when it decided Laguna Tropical, a Condominium Association, Inc. v. Barnave, Case No. 3D16–1531 (Fla. 3d DCA

Read More

IL App. Court Holds Post-Foreclosure COA Dues Need Not Be Paid Monthly to Extinguish Pre-Foreclosure COA Lien

Reversing a trial court’s ruling in favor of a condominium association and against a mortgagee, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently held that the Illinois Condominium Property Act’s (“Condo Act”) provision creating a mechanism to extinguish liens for

Read More

Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

Read More

Court of Appeals Upholds Homeowners Association’s Application of Bylaws

The Washington Court of Appeals recently upheld a homeowners association’s interpretation and application of its bylaws in a published opinion. Members of the association challenged its authority to impose membership fees and liens because they claimed that its board of

Read More

New Jersey Superior Court Holds Condominium Association Was Not Entitled to Redeem Tax Sale Certificate on Condominium

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County, Chancery Division-General Equity Part recently held that a condominium association’s attempt to redeem a tax sale certificate on a condominium on which it held a lien was not valid because it was

Read More

Recent Appellate Division Decision Expands Private Party Remedies Under New Jersey Spill Act and Demonstrates Condominium Owners’ Potential for Environmental Liability

The New Jersey Appellate Division’s recent decision in Matejek v. Watson was notable in two respects. First, it provides a private party an order compelling another party to participate in an environmental investigation without proving liability, something not previously allowed

Read More

Insurance Policy Did Not Prevent Association Recovery from Subcontractors for Defective Work

On February 17, the First District Appellate Court issued an opinion regarding the Implied Warranty of Habitability in the case of Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Court et al. The opinion involved three separate appeals: the first relating

Read More

Ninth Circuit: Excess Insurers Must Tread Carefully When Rejecting Demands Exceeding Primary Limits (CA)

Under California law, a liability insurer has a good faith duty to reasonably settle claims within its policy limits. In Diamond Heights Homeowners Association v. National American Insurance Co., the California Court of Appeal held that where a proposed settlement

Read More

Can Blogging Violate the Fair Housing Act?–Revock v. Cowpet Bay West Condo Ass’n

This case is a collision between dogs as emotional support animals and a “no dogs” condominium association rule. The civil rights implications of a “no pets” rule are pretty obvious; such a rule can exclude the disabled. At the same

Read More

Chapter 13 Plan, Not Texas Law, Governs HOA Payments

A Texas homeowners association that applied Chapter 13 plan payments first to pre-bankruptcy delinquencies, leading to improper late fees, penalties and interest, was penalized by a bankruptcy court March 27 ( In re Daulton , 2017 BL 96621, Bankr. S.D.

Read More

Paris Meadows, LLC v City of Kentwood: Objecting to the Taxation of Common Elements (MI)

In Michigan the question of whether the common elements of a condominium are taxable appears to be well-settled. In Paris Meadows, LLC v City of Kentwood, 287 Mich App 136; 783 NW2d 133 (2010), the Michigan Court of Appeals held

Read More

Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions (IL)

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

Read More

After the Spanish Court case: Limits of Board authority to maintain collection action highlighted in recent appellate court opinion

In the recent case of 4934 Forrestville Condominium Association v. McKinley, the First District Appellate Court held in the context of an Association’s action to collect delinquent assessments under the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, that a Unit Owner’s

Read More

Condo’s and the Environment (NJ)

GREG RENEE MATEJEK v. NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION CLAREMONT HILLS PARCEL TWO CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION The facts as found by the trial judge at the conclusion of a bench trial are relatively simple. Briefly, oil was discovered on the

Read More

HOA Losing Tree Trimming CC&R Properly Hit With $200,000 In Fees And $20,621.15 In Costs

We have explained that HOA – homeowner disputes can be costly. Especially where one party prevails, in this case the homeowner. In Lingenbrink v. Del Rayo Estates Homeowners Assn., Case No. D070966 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Mar. 22, 2017) (unpublished),

Read More

Colorado finally corrects thirty-year old flaw in construction defect statute of repose

The Colorado Supreme Court has finally settled a decades-old conundrum surrounding the state’s construction defect statute of repose.  A statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations insofar as both restrict the time a party can bring a

Read More

Long Canyon Phase II and III Homeowners Assoc. v. Cashion, 03-15-00498-CV (TexApp Dist 03/03/2017)

Appellant, a homeowners association, alleged in a letter to owners Chris and Lisa Cashion that the Cashions damaged a drainage easement. The letter, part of a long-standing dispute, threatened fines and a lawsuit. The Cashions responded by suing for harassment,

Read More

Association Deficits Don’t Excuse Developer From Funding HOA Reserves (FL)

For the developer of the Sullivan Ranch community in Mount Dora north of Orlando, it appears that its decision to stop funding reserves after it established the account and began funding it in 2007 has significantly backfired. The Fifth District

Read More

Rulings Clarify Application of Safe Harbor Caps on Association Dues” (FL)

In Brittany’s Place Condominium Association v. U.S. Bank, the Second District Court of Appeal settled some lingering questions as to whether a lender or servicer that takes title to a residence via a mortgage foreclosure must also be the current

Read More

Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

Read More

ALLIED PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY v. METRO NORTH CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company issued a commercial general liability policy insuring a subcontractor who worked on a multi-unit residential property owned by Metro North Condominium Association. In 2006 the Metro North property sustained extensive water damage caused by

Read More

Handgun Regulation in Community Associations

An entire textbook and law school class could be devoted to the topic of handgun regulation. This article will focus on two recent United States Supreme Court (“Court”) decisions, briefly discuss some of the ways in which the Court’s decisions

Read More

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Third Party Buyer is Liable for Delinquent Assessments to Mortgagee’s Subsidiary

According to Section 9(g)(4) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, any purchaser of a condominium unit who acquires a property either at a foreclosure sale or by post-foreclosure purchase from the mortgagee must pay the last six months’ worth of

Read More

Nevada Supreme Court Departs From Ninth Circuit Ruling And Finds HOA Lien Statute Does Not Implicate Due Process

On Jan. 26, 2017, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a 5-0-2 decision in Saticoy Bay LLC Series 350 Durango 104 v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 5, holding that Nevada’s HOA “super priority” lien statute, NRS §

Read More

Attorney’s Fees In Homeowners Association Disputes (CA)

Civil Code Section 5975(c) states: “In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” There are a few things to note about this statute. First, this only applies to an

Read More

Does The SLAPP Statute Apply To Homeowners Associations? (CA)

(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute is Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16. When the SLAPP statute was first enacted in 1992, twenty four years ago, some people, believed that it would not apply to homeowners associations because the SLAPP

Read More

Lesson Learned: What North Carolina Management Companies Should be Thinking About

In a recent post on a South Carolina Supreme Court case from just a few weeks ago I provided a quick breakdown of things that management companies in South Carolina must not do. As always, lessons learned from different jurisdictions

Read More

Trio of Recent Decisions on the I v. I Exclusion Should Remind Policyholders to Annually Review the Language in Their Policy to Avoid Losing Coverage

D&O policies vary quite a bit from carrier to carrier, and language on “standard” exclusions can change from year to year. Accordingly, it is important to do a yearly review of your D&O policy to make sure your company has

Read More

Texas High Court Finds for Insurer in D&O Coverage Dispute

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an insurer in a case that hinged on the applicability of an insured-v.-insured exclusion in the carrier’s directors and officers (D&O) liability policy.  The Court’s action reversed the ruling in Great

Read More

Little Love Lost in Sedimental Affair

A lawsuit for damage to property must be timely filed to prevail in court. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for property damage is five years from accrual of the claim. When an owner suffers damage caused by a neighboring

Read More

Invalid Board Does Not Have Authority to Bring Lawsuit on Association’s Behalf

The Appeals Court of Illinois recently held that an association’s board of directors does not have authority to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the association if it is not formed properly according to the condominium’s governing documents and the

Read More

MI Court Validates Foreclosure Sale Under the Doctrine of Substantial Compliance

On February 14, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion in the matter of Miehlke v Bayview Condominium Association of Manistee, et al. The Miehlke case is important as a reminder that a defect in a foreclosure

Read More

Judge turns away dismissal motion, says condo member averred legitimate breach of contract claim (PA)

A federal judge decided that one member of a Bucks County condominium association had raised a legitimate claim to breach of contract towards the other member of the association, with respect to the payment of electricity fees.  On Feb. 10,

Read More

Court Narrows Defenses in Covenant Enforcement Action (FL)

When faced with an enforcement action by a community association, owners often argue the association is selectively enforcing the covenants. Some also argue the association waived its right to enforce because the association knew about the violation for a substantial

Read More

Hovious v. Bridgewater Homeowners Association, Inc. (In re Hovious)

The bankruptcy court enters judgment in favor of the debtor and against the home owners’ association but does not award any damages. The debtor argued the HOA violated the discharge injunction when it attempted to collect post-petition dues from the

Read More

California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products

On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability

Read More

Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers (CA)

Civil Code § 8951 et seq. (the “Act”) establishes a set of building standards pertaining to new residential construction and provides homeowners with a cause of action against, among others, material suppliers, for a violation of the standards(§§ 896, 936).

Read More

Condominium Corporation Seeks Court Order Requiring Mental Examination of Unit Owner

In a recent case, TSCC No. 2395 v. Wong, a condominium corporation that was dealing with a unit owner whose behavior had become increasingly threatening, abusive, intimidating and dangerous, applied to the Court for an order that the unit owner

Read More

Court Defers to Association’s Interpretation of its Bylaws (WA)

The Washington Court of Appeals recently held that an association’s board of directors was validly constituted and properly passed bylaw amendments, so the board (and the management company as the board’s agent) had the authority to charge and collect fines

Read More