CALIFORNIA – This HOA speech-chilling anti-harassment rule is fraught with problems
Los Angeles Times: This HOA speech-chilling anti-harassment rule is fraught with problems
By Donie Vanitzian
December 5, 2015
Question: Our 121-unit condo complex successfully removed the past board of directors. Before their removal, they adopted a draconian and subjective anti-harassment rule. The rule states: “Homeowners and residents are prohibited from screaming at, following, emailing and stalking directors, committee members, vendors, etc. Any violation of this regulation will result in a $200 fine per infraction.”
No board meeting minutes document adoption of the rule. A manager posted, then instantly removed from a clubhouse window, an announcement of the board’s majority vote for the new rule but did not define “harassment.” Immediately fines were issued to people the board or manager disliked. It feels like a prison, residents are afraid to say hello to anyone. Are the fines and the rule legal?
Answer: To be enforceable, rules should be clear and concise and based on objective standards that are rationally related to a legitimate association function. For the rule to be legitimate, the minutes must document the motion and vote, then proper notice must be sent to all titleholders pursuant to legal requirements before the rule is implemented and effective. Read more:
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