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SB-563 Common interest developments: meetings.(2011-2012)

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SB563:v94#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 563
CHAPTER 257

An act to amend Sections 1363, 1363.05, and 1365.2 of the Civil Code, relating to common interest developments.

[ Approved by Governor  September 06, 2011. Filed with Secretary of State  September 06, 2011. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 563, Committee on Transportation and Housing. Common interest developments: meetings.
(1) Existing law provides for the creation of common interest developments and requires that a common interest development be managed by an association that may or may not be incorporated. Existing law prescribes requirements for meetings of the board of directors of the association that manages the development, and requires notice of the time and place of a meeting of the board of directors to be given to the members of the association at least 4 days prior to the meeting, except as specified.
This bill would require notice for a meeting that will be held solely in executive session to be given to members of the association at least 2 days prior to the meeting, except as specified. The bill would provide that, if a member consents, notice may be given to the member electronically, and would also delete provisions that generally allow the board of directors to consider any proper matter at a meeting even if it has not been noticed as an action item for the meeting.
This bill would permit meetings of the board of directors of a common interest development association to be conducted by teleconference, as specified, by revising the definition of a meeting for these purposes. The bill would require that a teleconference meeting be conducted in a manner that protects the rights of members of the association and otherwise complies with other requirements governing common interest developments. The bill would also require that the notice of a teleconference meeting identify at least one physical location so that members of the association may attend and would require that at least one member of the board of directors be present at that location. The bill would prohibit the board of directors from taking action on any item of business outside of a meeting. The bill would prohibit the board from conducting a meeting via a series of electronic transmissions, such as electronic mail, except to conduct an emergency meeting, as specified. The bill would establish a definition of an item of business.
(2) Existing law requires an association to make available specified association records, but excludes from those requirements agendas for meetings of the board of directors that are held in executive session.
This bill would delete this exclusion, and would therefore require an association to make available agendas for meetings held in executive session.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1363 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1363.
 (a) A common interest development shall be managed by an association that may be incorporated or unincorporated. The association may be referred to as a community association.
(b) An association, whether incorporated or unincorporated, shall prepare a budget pursuant to Section 1365 and disclose information, if requested, in accordance with Section 1368.
(c) Unless the governing documents provide otherwise, and regardless of whether the association is incorporated or unincorporated, the association may exercise the powers granted to a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation, as enumerated in Section 7140 of the Corporations Code, except that an unincorporated association may not adopt or use a corporate seal or issue membership certificates in accordance with Section 7313 of the Corporations Code.
The association, whether incorporated or unincorporated, may exercise the powers granted to an association in this title.
(d) Meetings of the membership of the association shall be conducted in accordance with a recognized system of parliamentary procedure or any parliamentary procedures the association may adopt.
(e) Members of the association shall have access to association records, including accounting books and records and membership lists, in accordance with Article 3 (commencing with Section 8330) of Chapter 13 of Part 3 of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code. The members of the association shall have the same access to the operating rules of the association as they have to the accounting books and records of the association.
(f) If an association adopts or has adopted a policy imposing any monetary penalty, including any fee, on any association member for a violation of the governing documents or rules of the association, including any monetary penalty relating to the activities of a guest or invitee of a member, the board of directors shall adopt and distribute to each member, by personal delivery or first-class mail, a schedule of the monetary penalties that may be assessed for those violations, which shall be in accordance with authorization for member discipline contained in the governing documents. The board of directors shall not be required to distribute any additional schedules of monetary penalties unless there are changes from the schedule that was adopted and distributed to the members pursuant to this subdivision.
(g) When the board of directors is to meet to consider or impose discipline upon a member, the board shall notify the member in writing, by either personal delivery or first-class mail, at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The notification shall contain, at a minimum, the date, time, and place of the meeting, the nature of the alleged violation for which a member may be disciplined, and a statement that the member has a right to attend and may address the board at the meeting. The board of directors of the association shall meet in executive session if requested by the member being disciplined.
If the board imposes discipline on a member, the board shall provide the member a written notification of the disciplinary action, by either personal delivery or first-class mail, within 15 days following the action. A disciplinary action shall not be effective against a member unless the board fulfills the requirements of this subdivision.
(h) Whenever two or more associations have consolidated any of their functions under a joint neighborhood association or similar organization, members of each participating association shall be (1) entitled to attend all meetings of the joint association other than executive sessions, (2) given reasonable opportunity for participation in those meetings, and (3) entitled to the same access to the joint association’s records as they are to the participating association’s records.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create, expand, or reduce the authority of the board of directors of an association to impose monetary penalties on an association member for a violation of the governing documents or rules of the association.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1363.05 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1363.05.
 (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act.
(b) Any member of the association may attend meetings of the board of directors of the association, except when the board adjourns to, or meets solely in, executive session to consider litigation, matters relating to the formation of contracts with third parties, member discipline, personnel matters, or to meet with a member, upon the member’s request, regarding the member’s payment of assessments, as specified in Section 1367 or 1367.1. The board of directors of the association shall meet in executive session, if requested by a member who may be subject to a fine, penalty, or other form of discipline, and the member shall be entitled to attend the executive session. As specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (k), a member of the association shall be entitled to attend a teleconference meeting or the portion of a teleconference meeting that is open to members, and that meeting or portion of the meeting shall be audible to the members in a location specified in the notice of the meeting.
(c) Any matter discussed in executive session shall be generally noted in the minutes of the immediately following meeting that is open to the entire membership.
(d) The minutes, minutes proposed for adoption that are marked to indicate draft status, or a summary of the minutes, of any meeting of the board of directors of an association, other than an executive session, shall be available to members within 30 days of the meeting. The minutes, proposed minutes, or summary minutes shall be distributed to any member of the association upon request and upon reimbursement of the association’s costs for making that distribution.
(e) Members of the association shall be notified in writing at the time that the pro forma budget required in Section 1365 is distributed, or at the time of any general mailing to the entire membership of the association, of their right to have copies of the minutes of meetings of the board of directors, and how and where those minutes may be obtained.
(f) Unless the bylaws provide for a longer period of notice, members shall be given notice of the time and place of a meeting as defined in subdivision (k), except for an emergency meeting or a meeting that will be held solely in executive session, at least four days prior to the meeting. Except for an emergency meeting, members shall be given notice of the time and place of a meeting that will be held solely in executive session at least two days prior to the meeting. Notice shall be given by posting the notice in a prominent place or places within the common area and by mail to any owner who had requested notification of board meetings by mail, at the address requested by the owner. Notice may also be given by mail, by delivery of the notice to each unit in the development, by newsletter or similar means of communication, or, with the consent of the member, by electronic means. The notice shall contain the agenda for the meeting.
(g) An emergency meeting of the board may be called by the president of the association, or by any two members of the governing body other than the president, if there are circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen which require immediate attention and possible action by the board, and which of necessity make it impracticable to provide notice as required by this section.
(h) The board of directors of the association shall permit any member of the association to speak at any meeting of the association or the board of directors, except for meetings of the board held in executive session. A reasonable time limit for all members of the association to speak to the board of directors or before a meeting of the association shall be established by the board of directors.
(i)  (1)  Except as described in paragraphs (2) to (4), inclusive, the board of directors of the association may not discuss or take action on any item at a nonemergency meeting unless the item was placed on the agenda included in the notice that was posted and distributed pursuant to subdivision (f). This subdivision does not prohibit a resident who is not a member of the board from speaking on issues not on the agenda.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a member of the board of directors, a managing agent or other agent of the board of directors, or a member of the staff of the board of directors, may do any of the following:
(A) Briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by a person speaking at a meeting as described in subdivision (h).
(B) Ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement, or make a brief report on his or her own activities, whether in response to questions posed by a member of the association or based upon his or her own initiative.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the board of directors or a member of the board of directors, subject to rules or procedures of the board of directors, may do any of the following:
(A) Provide a reference to, or provide other resources for factual information to, its managing agent or other agents or staff.
(B) Request its managing agent or other agents or staff to report back to the board of directors at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter, or take action to direct its managing agent or other agents or staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda.
(C) Direct its managing agent or other agents or staff to perform administrative tasks that are necessary to carry out this subdivision.
(4) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the board of directors may take action on any item of business not appearing on the agenda posted and distributed pursuant to subdivision (f) under any of the following conditions:
(i) Upon a determination made by a majority of the board of directors present at the meeting that an emergency situation exists. An emergency situation exists if there are circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen by the board, that require immediate attention and possible action by the board, and that, of necessity, make it impracticable to provide notice.
(ii) Upon a determination made by the board by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at the meeting, or, if less than two-thirds of total membership of the board is present at the meeting, by a unanimous vote of the members present, that there is a need to take immediate action and that the need for action came to the attention of the board after the agenda was posted and distributed pursuant to subdivision (f).
(iii) The item appeared on an agenda that was posted and distributed pursuant to subdivision (f) for a prior meeting of the board of directors that occurred not more than 30 calendar days before the date that action is taken on the item and, at the prior meeting, action on the item was continued to the meeting at which the action is taken.
(B) Before discussing any item pursuant to this paragraph, the board of directors shall openly identify the item to the members in attendance at the meeting.
(j) (1) The board of directors shall not take action on any item of business outside of a meeting.
(2) (A) Notwithstanding Section 7211 of the Corporations Code, the board of directors shall not conduct a meeting via a series of electronic transmissions, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, except as specified in subparagraph (B).
(B) Electronic transmissions may be used as a method of conducting an emergency meeting if all members of the board, individually or collectively, consent in writing to that action, and if the written consent or consents are filed with the minutes of the meeting of the board. Written consent to conduct an emergency meeting may be transmitted electronically.
(k) As used in this section:
(1) “Item of business” means any action within the authority of the board, except those actions that the board has validly delegated to any other person or persons, managing agent, officer of the association, or committee of the board comprising less than a majority of the directors.
(2) “Meeting” means either of the following:
(A) A congregation of a majority of the members of the board at the same time and place to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item of business that is within the authority of the board.
(B) A teleconference in which a majority of the members of the board, in different locations, are connected by electronic means, through audio or video or both. A teleconference meeting shall be conducted in a manner that protects the rights of members of the association and otherwise complies with the requirements of this title. Except for a meeting that will be held solely in executive session, the notice of the teleconference meeting shall identify at least one physical location so that members of the association may attend and at least one member of the board of directors shall be present at that location. Participation by board members in a teleconference meeting constitutes presence at that meeting as long as all board members participating in the meeting are able to hear one another and members of the association speaking on matters before the board.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1365.2 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1365.2.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Association records” means all of the following:
(A) Any financial document required to be provided to a member in Section 1365.
(B) Any financial document or statement required to be provided in Section 1368.
(C) Interim financial statements, periodic or as compiled, containing any of the following:
(i) Balance sheet.
(ii) Income and expense statement.
(iii) Budget comparison.
(iv) General ledger. A “general ledger” is a report that shows all transactions that occurred in an association account over a specified period of time.
The records described in this subparagraph shall be prepared in accordance with an accrual or modified accrual basis of accounting.
(D) Executed contracts not otherwise privileged under law.
(E) Written board approval of vendor or contractor proposals or invoices.
(F) State and federal tax returns.
(G) Reserve account balances and records of payments made from reserve accounts.
(H) Agendas and minutes of meetings of the members, the board of directors and any committees appointed by the board of directors pursuant to Section 7212 of the Corporations Code; excluding, however, minutes and other information from executive sessions of the board of directors as described in Section 1363.05.
(I) (i) Membership lists, including name, property address, and mailing address, if the conditions set forth in clause (ii) are met and except as otherwise provided in clause (iii).
(ii) The member requesting the list shall state the purpose for which the list is requested which purpose shall be reasonably related to the requester’s interest as a member. If the association reasonably believes that the information in the list will be used for another purpose, it may deny the member access to the list. If the request is denied, in any subsequent action brought by the member under subdivision (f), the association shall have the burden to prove that the member would have allowed use of the information for purposes unrelated to his or her interest as a member.
(iii) A member of the association may opt out of the sharing of his or her name, property address, and mailing address by notifying the association in writing that he or she prefers to be contacted via the alternative process described in subdivision (c) of Section 8330 of the Corporations Code. This opt-out shall remain in effect until changed by the member.
(J) Check registers.
(2) “Enhanced association records” means invoices, receipts and canceled checks for payments made by the association, purchase orders approved by the association, credit card statements for credit cards issued in the name of the association, statements for services rendered, and reimbursement requests submitted to the association, provided that the person submitting the reimbursement request shall be solely responsible for removing all personal identification information from the request.
(b) (1) The association shall make available association records and enhanced association records for the time periods and within the timeframes provided in subdivisions (i) and (j) for inspection and copying by a member of the association, or the member’s designated representative. The association may bill the requesting member for the direct and actual cost of copying requested documents. The association shall inform the member of the amount of the copying costs before copying the requested documents.
(2) A member of the association may designate another person to inspect and copy the specified association records on the member’s behalf. The member shall make this designation in writing.
(c) (1) The association shall make the specified association records available for inspection and copying in the association’s business office within the common interest development.
(2) If the association does not have a business office within the development, the association shall make the specified association records available for inspection and copying at a place that the requesting member and the association agree upon.
(3) If the association and the requesting member cannot agree upon a place for inspection and copying pursuant to paragraph (2), or if the requesting member submits a written request directly to the association for copies of specifically identified records, the association may satisfy the requirement to make the association records available for inspection and copying by mailing copies of the specifically identified records to the member by first-class mail within the timeframes set forth in subdivision (j).
(4) The association may bill the requesting member for the direct and actual cost of copying and mailing requested documents. The association shall inform the member of the amount of the copying and mailing costs, and the member shall agree to pay those costs, before copying and sending the requested documents.
(5) In addition to the direct and actual costs of copying and mailing, the association may bill the requesting member an amount not in excess of ten dollars ($10) per hour, and not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) total per written request, for the time actually and reasonably involved in redacting the enhanced association records as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). The association shall inform the member of the estimated costs, and the member shall agree to pay those costs, before retrieving the requested documents.
(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the association may withhold or redact information from the association records for any of the following reasons:
(A) The release of the information is reasonably likely to lead to identity theft. For the purposes of this section, “identity theft” means the unauthorized use of another person’s personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property. Examples of information that may be withheld or redacted pursuant to this paragraph include bank account numbers of members or vendors, social security or tax identification numbers, and check, stock, and credit card numbers.
(B) The release of the information is reasonably likely to lead to fraud in connection with the association.
(C) The information is privileged under law. Examples include documents subject to attorney-client privilege or relating to litigation in which the association is or may become involved, and confidential settlement agreements.
(D) The release of the information is reasonably likely to compromise the privacy of an individual member of the association.
(E) The information contains any of the following:
(i) Records of a la carte goods or services provided to individual members of the association for which the association received monetary consideration other than assessments.
(ii) Records of disciplinary actions, collection activities, or payment plans of members other than the member requesting the records.
(iii) Any person’s personal identification information, including, without limitation, social security number, tax identification number, driver’s license number, credit card account numbers, bank account number, and bank routing number.
(iv) Minutes and other information from executive sessions of the board of directors as described in Section 1363.05, except for executed contracts not otherwise privileged. Privileged contracts shall not include contracts for maintenance, management, or legal services.
(v) Personnel records other than the payroll records required to be provided under paragraph (2).
(vi) Interior architectural plans, including security features, for individual homes.
(2) Except as provided by the attorney-client privilege, the association may not withhold or redact information concerning the compensation paid to employees, vendors, or contractors. Compensation information for individual employees shall be set forth by job classification or title, not by the employee’s name, social security number, or other personal information.
(3) No association, officer, director, employee, agent or volunteer of an association shall be liable for damages to a member of the association or any third party as the result of identity theft or other breach of privacy because of the failure to withhold or redact that member’s information under this subdivision unless the failure to withhold or redact the information was intentional, willful, or negligent.
(4) If requested by the requesting member, an association that denies or redacts records shall provide a written explanation specifying the legal basis for withholding or redacting the requested records.
(e) (1) The association records, and any information from them, may not be sold, used for a commercial purpose, or used for any other purpose not reasonably related to a member’s interest as a member. An association may bring an action against any person who violates this section for injunctive relief and for actual damages to the association caused by the violation.
(2) This section may not be construed to limit the right of an association to damages for misuse of information obtained from the association records pursuant to this section or to limit the right of an association to injunctive relief to stop the misuse of this information.
(3) An association shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, in a successful action to enforce its rights under this section.
(f) A member of an association may bring an action to enforce the member’s right to inspect and copy the association records. If a court finds that the association unreasonably withheld access to the association records, the court shall award the member reasonable costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, and may assess a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for the denial of each separate written request. A cause of action under this section may be brought in small claims court if the amount of the demand does not exceed the jurisdiction of that court. A prevailing association may recover any costs if the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.
(g) The provisions of this section apply to any community service organization or similar entity, as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 1368, that is related to the association, and to any nonprofit entity that provides services to a common interest development under a declaration of trust. This section shall operate to give a member of the organization or entity a right to inspect and copy the records of that organization or entity equivalent to that granted to association members by this section.
(h) Requesting parties shall have the option of receiving specifically identified records by electronic transmission or machine-readable storage media as long as those records can be transmitted in a redacted format that does not allow the records to be altered. The cost of duplication shall be limited to the direct cost of producing the copy of a record in that electronic format. The association may deliver specifically identified records by electronic transmission or machine-readable storage media as long as those records can be transmitted in a redacted format that prevents the records from being altered.
(i) The time periods for which specified records shall be provided is as follows:
(1) Association records shall be made available for the current fiscal year and for each of the previous two fiscal years.
(2) Minutes of member and board meetings shall be permanently made available. If a committee has decisionmaking authority, minutes of the meetings of that committee shall be made available commencing January 1, 2007, and shall thereafter be permanently made available.
(j) The timeframes in which access to specified records shall be provided to a requesting member are as follows:
(1) Association records prepared during the current fiscal year, within 10 business days following the association’s receipt of the request.
(2) Association records prepared during the previous two fiscal years, within 30 calendar days following the association’s receipt of the request.
(3) Any record or statement available pursuant to Section 1365 or 1368, within the timeframe specified therein.
(4) Minutes of member and board meetings, within the timeframe specified in subdivision (d) of Section 1363.05.
(5) Minutes of meetings of committees with decisionmaking authority for meetings commencing on or after January 1, 2007, within 15 calendar days following approval.
(6) Membership list, within the timeframe specified in Section 8330 of the Corporations Code.
(k) There shall be no liability pursuant to this section for an association that fails to retain records for the periods specified in subdivision (i) that were created prior to January 1, 2006.
(l) As applied to an association and its members, the provisions of this section are intended to supersede the provisions of Sections 8330 and 8333 of the Corporations Code to the extent those sections are inconsistent.
(m) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any common interest development in which separate interests are being offered for sale by a subdivider under the authority of a public report issued by the Department of Real Estate so long as the subdivider or all subdividers offering those separate interests for sale, or any employees of those subdividers or any other person who receives direct or indirect compensation from any of those subdividers, comprise a majority of the members of the board of directors of the association. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this section shall apply to that common interest development no later than 10 years after the close of escrow for the first sale of a separate interest to a member of the general public pursuant to the public report issued for the first phase of the development.
(n) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2006.