QUESTION: Can an owner run for the board when she has a lawsuit against the board? Can we prevent her from running due to the current chaos she is causing both to the board and the association?
ANSWER: Prior to January 1, 2020, associations could adopt candidate qualifications that precluded a person from serving on a board while engaged in legal proceedings against the association or its directors. This was due to the significant disruptions and conflicts of interest created by the litigation. Once the litigation concluded, the person could once again serve on the board. Legislation sponsored by Marjorie Murray's Center for California Homeowner Association Law eliminated such restrictions so a person can serve on the board while actively suing the association and/or fellow board members.
Recusal. To avoid problems surrounding the litigation, boards can require the litigating director to recuse him/herself from any participation in matters related to the litigation. Recusal does not necessarily apply if a director is a defendant in a lawsuit. Boards should consult legal counsel when faced with these situations.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.