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: Candidate qualifications in your governing documents control. Because of the significant disruption caused by litigation and the conflicts of interest it creates for a sitting director to be suing the association, you should amend your bylaws to require that a candidate not be a party in any legal proceeding against the association or its officers or directors. Absent this restriction, you cannot prevent someone from running for the board while suing the association.
If someone is already on the board and files suit against the association, the board can require the person 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 will want to 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.