QUESTION: Is it legal to fine someone twice on the same violation if they refuse to pay the first fine and have remedied what the fine was for in the first place?
ANSWER: The imposition of monetary penalties requires due process, which must be done in accordance with the association's published fine policy. I've never seen language in any governing document that allows a board to levy fines on unpaid fines or two fines on a single violation. If your board had a written, published policy that allowed for fines on fines, I suspect a court would find it unreasonable.
Board Options. If an owner refuses to pay a fine, boards have two options. The first is to take the person to small claims court for a judgment in the amount of the fine. Be prepared that this approach is not always successful--small claims judges can be unpredictable. The second option is to hold a hearing and find the person "not in good standing" and suspend their privileges until the fines are paid.
Recommendation: Boards should have their association's legal counsel review their governing documents and advise them on how best to levy and pursue monetary penalties.
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