Older, nonessential records should be disposed of pursuant to the association's records retention policy. A significant exception is if the association has notice of or reasonably believes the records will be requested in a lawsuit. Under those circumstances, the destruction of records could result in sanctions against the association:
Unless justified by the responsible party, the intentional or negligent destruction, concealment, alteration or failure to preserve documents, data, information, or other evidence, reasonably known, at the time when it is eliminated, to be relevant to the issues or subject matter of reasonably knowable, pending or probable litigation, shall be subject to appropriate sanctions imposed in the pending action against a party if and to the extent such elimination of potential evidence is a reasonably certain cause of the substantial impairment of or significant prejudice to the ability to prove or disprove an element of the cause of action or defense.
Intentional, grossly negligent or other culpable conduct , done for the purpose of destroying or preventing the use of evidence or without reasonable concern for preserving evidence, and proximately causing the destruction or unavailability of relevant evidence in known pending or reasonably imminent litigation, may result in exemplary or punitive sanctions in order to adequately compensate the victim of such conduct or to deter future culpable conduct.
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