QUESTION: Regarding the taping of a board meeting by the secretary, prior to the approval of the meeting minutes and then the destruction of the tape, does a director have the right to hear the tape of the meeting in which he participated?
ANSWER: Normally, taping by the secretary is solely for his/her use in the preparation of minutes and, in my opinion, the recordings are not official records of the association and may be erased once draft minutes have been prepared for the board's review.
Rogue Directors. Some boards have the unfortunate experience of suffering the ranting of a rogue director who is constantly disrupting meetings, intimidating fellow directors, and threatening litigation. His/her bullying and threats will inhibit free and open discussion by directors if they fear (i) the recordings may be used in an alleged defamation action or (ii) snippets of the recordings will end up on the internet. For that reason, boards can and should adopt a policy requiring that recordings be erased once the minutes have been prepared. Accordingly, the board can deny the director's request to listen to tapes before they are erased.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.