Adams Stirling PLC


Members Only. For a petition to be valid, it must contain signatures representing at least 5% of the association's total voting power. (Corp. Code § 7510(e).) Petitions submitted to a board of directors to call special meetings of the membership must be signed by by members only. Signatures by spouses not on title and by tenants are not valid.

Original Signatures Only. Forms with electronic or typed signatures are not acceptable, the signatures must be original signatures of members. (Calif. Code of Reg. 20930(a)(1).)

Copied Forms. Copied forms can be used provided they contain original signatures. (Calif. Code of Reg. 20920(b)(5).)

Delivered to Association. Completed petitions with original signatures must then be delivered to the board or its managing agent so signatures can be verified.

Verify Signatures. Since only members can sign petitions, associations have the right to verify signatures. With paper-and-ink petitions, members sign their names in their own distinctive handwriting styles. As such, signatures cannot easily be forged and associations can readily verify them.

Signature Privacy. There is disagreement about whether or not privacy rights exist for petition signers and whether petitions may be published to the membership.

Multiple Owners of One Unit. Any person on title to a property can sign on behalf of the property but it counts only once. If there are ten owners on title for one unit, all of whom sign a petition, it counts as one signature not ten. Accordingly, husbands and wives (or any co-owners of a property) get only one signature on petitions and one ballot on election issues. It is the number of units (or lots) that count, not the number of owners. If multiple owners of a property sign a petition, it does not invalidate the petition--it means that only one signature is counted.

One Owner of Multiple Units. If an owner of five properties lists all five properties and signs a petition, the signature counts five times, one for each property.

Withdrawing Signatures. A member who has signed a petition may submit a written request that their name be removed from the petition. (Calif. Code Reg. 20970(a).)

CC&R Petition. While signatures on a recall petition can be withdrawn, CC&R petition signatures cannot. Prior to the 2006 change in the Davis-Stirling Act's election requirements, CC&Rs could be amended by petition. In a 1990 case, a court ruled that signatures on a petition to extend CC&Rs were irrevocable. (La Jolla Mesa v. La Jolla Mesa Vista.) This issue became moot since CC&R amendments and restatements now require secret ballots. (Civ. Code § 5100(a).) 

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC