Moretz Law Group - Community Associations and Business Lawyers

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Caselaw Update: Supreme Court Reverses Willowmere Decision re HOA's Lack of Standing

Caselaw Update! 

The North Carolina Supreme Court, in a decision filed on March 2, 2018, REVERSED the Court of Appeals' decision discussed below. You can read the Supreme Court's decision here. As we discussed in our blog post below, which we posted on December 14, 2016, we disagreed with the Court of Appeals' reasoning, and thankfully the Supreme Court did also. The Supreme Court confirmed the longstanding rule that only members of an association can contest whether the board properly followed its own internal procedures in making the decision to bring a lawsuit - failure to follow the bylaws or other requirements cannot be used by the third-party, non-member defendants to claim that the association did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. In this case, two Charlotte-area homeowners associations can now proceed with their lawsuit against the City of Charlotte for approving a rezoning which would allow lower-income housing next door to the two associations.

However, our bottom line below still stands -  while it may sometimes be a pain to follow board meeting and voting procedures, a cavalier attitude can come back to bite you.  In this case, years of litigation and many tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees were wasted due to the failure to follow simple procedural steps. Don’t let that happen to your HOA.