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Kushner fraud case back before judge who declared mistrial after bias accusation (NJ)

Superior Court Judge Vincent LeBlon will continue to preside over the trial between Perth Amboy condo owners and the Kushner Companies despite declaring a mistrial after an attorney accused of the judge of “running the most unbalanced trial of his career.”  Civil

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Board members immune from personal liability (TX)

Plaintiff condominium owners sued association and board members to restore their homes after hurricane and fire damage. when complex was instead demolished,. Trial court granted summary judgment in favor of board members, and severed the remaining claims against the association.

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Colorado construction defects bill opposed by groups it is designed to help

A bipartisan bill described as getting to the “heart” of the construction defect litigation issue saw widespread opposition Wednesday from the very groups it is intended to help.  The bill still passed the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee by

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Court Affirmed Dismissal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Condo Board Members

In Brown v. Hensley, a condominium complex was damaged by a hurricane, and the board of the complex allowed the complex to be demolished. No. 14-14-00981-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 727 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] January 26, 2017, no pet.

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Appeals court decides Centex must pay into HOA reserve (FL)

The 5th District Court of Appeal recently decided in favor of a pair of homeowners representing themselves in a case against their homeowner association at Sullivan Ranch.  According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, Sara MacKenzie, who had only

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Community Associations and the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment to the United States’ Constitution guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear arms. The Florida constitution contains a similar guarantee. With few exceptions, Florida law allows licensed individuals to carry concealed firearms in most public locations.

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Former property manager alleges wrongful termination by Silver Thatch Atlantic Plaza Condominium Association Inc.

A Broward County woman formerly employed as property manager claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting allegedly unlawful conduct.  Michele Gardner filed a complaint on Jan. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Silver

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CAI Releases a Guidance Document on Music & Movie Licensing in the U.S.

Music is powerful. Nearly all of us can recall memories associated with a personal memory – a high school dance, an old boyfriend or girlfriend, the summers spent with friends on the lake or at the beach.  In fact, according

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State fails to protect condo owners from board fraud, grand jury finds (FL)

The Florida state agency that regulates condominium associations does not work to protect the tens of thousands who live in condos, resulting in extensive fraud, mismanagement and conflicts of interest among the boards and management companies that govern them, according

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Legal Brief: Logan’s Reserve HOA v. McCabe (PA)

On January 4, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court confirmed that the Uniform Planned Community Act (68 PA.C.S.A. Section 5101 et seq) does NOT permit owners to withhold assessments where they are dissatisfied with the association’s performance.   In Logan’s Reserve

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The Association…Cashing In On Rent (IL)

When filing a forcible entry and detainer action, our offices will inquire with the Association whether or not there is a tenant residing in the unit. The purpose of this is to establish if the tenant is a paying renter

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Legislators still struggling over construction defects reform (CO)

The old adage goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  As the state’s construction defect reform battle wages on, the question is can stakeholders stop looking for problems and accept an assortment of tools

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9th Cir. Limits Scope of FDCPA ‘Enforcement of Security Interest’ Exception

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a notice regarding overdue homeowners association (HOA) assessments contained language that overshadowed and conflicted with the homeowner’s federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act debt validation rights.  Limiting the

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(CO) Capitol Conversation: Construction Defects

Lawmakers in both parties are trying to make it more difficult for homeowners to sue condo developers over construction defects. They hope it will lead to more condo development and lower rents. But despite widespread support for the concept, legislation

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2017 Maryland Legislative Session Begins

Outside the glare of worldwide attention to the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the Maryland General Assembly began its 2017 90-day legislative session in mid-January.  Some bills considered–but not enacted–in 2016 will be examined

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HOA Homefront: Don’t be caught napping; your rights at risk! (CA)

Some well-intentioned ideas can boomerang and hurt those who are intended to be helped. Such is the new Civil Code 4041, created by last year’s SB918.  Section 4041 appears intended to protect homeowners by requiring annual reminders to keep their

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New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Coverage For Construction Defects

The New Jersey Supreme Court has affirmed the Appellate Division’s pro-policyholder decision in Cypress Point, confirming broad coverage for construction defects. Cypress Point Condominium Association v. Adria Towers, LLC (A-13/14-15) (076348) (August 4, 2016). The Appellate Division had reversed the

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What Impact Will Medical Marijuana Amendment to Florida’s Constitution Have on Community Associations?

Many states have placed the legalization of medical marijuana on their ballots in recent years and Florida is no different. A measure legalizing medical marijuana failed in Florida in 2014, gaining only fifty-eight (58%) percent of the vote. However, this

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Mother blames son’s death on faulty railing (LA)

A mother is suing condominium management, alleging the defendant’s negligence caused her son to fall to his death.  Violet Borras filed a suit Dec.7 against The Garden’s Edge Condominium Association Inc. and David M. Catherman in Orleans Parish Civil District

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Mandatory Arbitration for Construction Defects? (CO)

On February 1, 2017, Senate Bill 17-156 was introduced and assigned to the Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. S.B. 17-156 seeks to require mandatory mediation and/or arbitration for any construction defect action if the association’s governing documents previously required the

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Republicans introduce construction-defects reform bill – and it’s got a familiar ring (CO)

Colorado Republicans introduced the centerpiece bill of their construction-defects reform effort Wednesday — and it looks very similar to failed efforts from the 2014 and 2015 sessions.  Senate Bill 156, sponsored by Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, would require that

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Singapore: BCA launches final public consultation on rules for strata properties

After a review lasting close to five years, changes to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) — which will, among other things, tighten the use of proxies at annual general meetings of strata-titled properties to obtain management control

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Ham Radio Antennas – Congress Still Can’t Decide What To Do

During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill which sought to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennas in their communities. As originally proposed, H.R. 1301 was detrimental to an association’s control over

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What Community Association Bills Have Been Filed So Far? (FL)

The Florida Legislature met in Talahassee for two weeks in January, but so far, no community association bills have been heard in committee. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Chris Sprowls, did hear a presentation about “Condominium Terminations” and

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Stewart Files SB 244 Expanding Consumer Protections For New Mexicans Living In Homeowners Associations

This week Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Bernalillo) filed SB 244, which significantly expands consumer protections available to New Mexicans living in homeowners associations.  According to industry data, there are approximately 260,000 New Mexicans residing in nearly 2,000 community associations (both homeowner

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Senate Bill 1400 to raise foreclosure threshold for homeowner associations (AZ)

If you live in Arizona and are part of a homeowner association, your home can be taken away even if you make every mortgage payment on time.  Arizona Revised Statute 33.1256 allows an HOA to put a lien on your

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Second HOA sues Missouri City over Briggs Tract (TX)

A Harris County judge issued a restraining order yesterday against Missouri City, temporarily halting the city from changing the zoning of the Briggs Tract property near Watts Plantation Road after a second group of Missouri City residents sued the city

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Appellate Court Overturns $24 Million Judgment for HOA in SB800 Case (CA)

The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District just overturned a $24 Million verdict in favor of a San Diego County HOA. Despite the jury verdict in favor of the HOA, the Court of Appeal overturned the verdict, and

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Condo Co-owner Magician Failed to Impress in Icy Slip-Fall Case (MI)

Although Michigan’s winter of 2016-2017 has been relatively mild so far, this is usually the season when attorneys see an increase in slip and fall accident claims due to snow and ice. However, Michigan case law that developed over the

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Lawmakers aim to hold homeowner associations accountable for lost, stolen money (HI)

After several high-profile cases involving lost or stolen money, there’s a push to make homeowner associations more accountable.  There are several proposals being considered that could change the way they operate.  The number of House bills involving condo and homeowner

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Large Fee Recovery To Prevailing Defendants In CID Parking Space Dispute With Other Homeowners Reversed

In Hussein v. Driver, Case Nos. A144786/A145655 (1st Dist., Div. 4 Jan. 27, 2017) (unpublished), plaintiffs and defendants, homeowners in a common interest development as well as the parents of defendants, were drawn into a parking space dispute where slander

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(CO) Lawmakers try a new strategy to help bring condos back to Colorado

A precision-strike approach at the state Capitol to reform Colorado’s construction defects laws — rather than a comprehensive, catch-all bill — may be the best way to jump-start a condo market that has fallen way behind the recent population boom

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The Super-Priority Saga Continues – Nevada Supreme Court Holds That NRS 116’s Notice Provisions Are Constitutional (NV)

The Ninth Circuit sent shockwaves through the mortgage industry when it held that NRS 116—the statute allowing an HOA to impose a nominal super-priority lien that can extinguish a senior deed of trust when foreclosed—was facially unconstitutional under the Due

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OK to sue condo association for not granting access to dog-free elevators (IL)

A Chicago federal judge has cleared the way for Holly Geraci, the wife of prominent Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Peter Francis Geraci, to proceed with her lawsuit against the association that manages the condo building in which she lives, saying Geraci

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Construction-defects reform: Colorado House Speaker lays out changes she will back

Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran would support legislation requiring more homeowners to approve a construction-defects lawsuit and providing more information to those condominium owners about the effect of legal actions, she said Thursday.  It’s the legislative leader’s first indication that

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Letter Warning of Lien Recordation Subject to FDCPA, Ninth Circuit Holds

A law firm’s letter, warning that a lien would be recorded against a woman’s home if she failed to pay her annual homeowners association fees, is not exempt from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as an attempt to

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Kushner, Landings attorneys battle to prevent testimony (NJ)

Lawyers for Kushner Companies and the Landings at Harborside development project in Perth Amboy offered arguments Thursday in an effort to get a judge to prevent certain testimony in the upcoming consumer fraud trial.  Motions argued Thursday before Middlesex County

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Bill Introduced Granting Limited Immunity for Unauthorized Practice of Community Association Management

On January 20th, Representative Kevin Van Winkle (R) introduced House Bill 17-1112 (HB 1112) which would provide immunity from penalties for individuals who engage in the unauthorized practice of a profession regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), like

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Nevada Supreme Court ruling upholds nonjudicial foreclosure process

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a nonjudicial foreclosure process used by investors and speculators to acquire HOA properties at bargain basement prices during the great recession does not violate the constitutional protections of original mortgage holders.  The court

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2017 Chicago Elevator Inspections & Recycling Ordinance Reminders

Previously, the requirement for the City Annual Inspection Certification (“AIC”) was that the elevators/devices in buildings located in the Central Business District were inspected on a yearly basis. The new requirement is for compliance (elevators must pass inspection before the

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Legal Matters: Potential defense to construction defect claims

Anyone in the construction industry would likely acknowledge that litigation – and particularly construction defect litigation – is a part of doing business. But it is an expensive and time-consuming part of the business.  The costs and likelihood of litigation

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Condo units in the Timbers can now rent short term (CO)

The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council approved a new plat for the Timbers Condominiums that includes an amendment allowing for short-term rentals. The Mt. Crested Butte Planning Commission recommended approval of the second amendment to the plat, as well as

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Hearing Thursday in Universal’s lawsuit against county, Enclave (FL)

A hearing is scheduled Thursday on Universal Studios Water Parks’ lawsuit against Orange County and The Enclave at Orlando Condominium Association.  Orange County says the hearing is on its motion to dismiss the case.  Universal filed the lawsuit in 2015.

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Illinois Supreme Court Limits Scope of Snow and Ice Removal Immunity

Illinois law provides that any owner, lessor, occupant or other person in charge of residential property who “removes or attempts to remove snow or ice” from sidewalks is immunized from negligence claims arising from his or her acts or omissions

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Forty investors who bought rooms in Miami Beach’s Shelborne Hotel lose contentious lawsuit

Five years after suing Miami Beach hotelier Keith Menin, their condo association and companies tied to developer Russell Galbut for allegedly authorizing nearly $30 million in illegal assessments to renovate and repair the Shelborne Hotel, 40 investors who bought rooms

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What’s left of Virginia’s HOA Open Meeting Policy?

Promoters of community associations tout them as “mini-democracies,” reflecting the American tradition of public participation in governmental activity on a local level. One hallmark of “representative government” is that constituents may openly observe and review what their elected officials are

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Amateur Radio Parity Act Speeds to U.S. House Passage, Heads to U.S. Senate

Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, H.R. 555, passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules. The bill’s language is identical to that of

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SB 814: Discouraging Excessive Water Use (CA)

California is experiencing the worst drought in over a century. While recent rains bring good news for our water supply, the California Legislature has enacted a number of laws aimed at water conservation that still stand. Existing law requires the

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Illinois Condominium Property Act Amended to Streamline Association Loan Procedures

Condominium associations often choose to finance major common element repair projects by obtaining bank loans. This type of loan is typically secured by the association’s pledge to the lender of all or substantially all of the association’s assets, including the

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Florida Fourth DCA Adopts Strict Compliance Standard when Joining Homeowner Associations to Foreclosure Actions

On November 23, 2016, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a case concerning a foreclosing lender’s obligation to pay homeowner association assessments in Federal National Mortgage Association v. Mirabella at Mirasol Homeowner’s Association, Inc., Case

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