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Meeting minutes

We are having difficulty getting copy of meeting minutes.
Is there a ARS regarding meeting minutes or is it the civil code?
Thank you
Bente

5 Responses

  1. dennisl

    Bente;
    Both the planned community act and the Condominium act have specific statutes relative to the availability of homeowners to view and get copies of association records. ARS 33-1258 for condominiums and ARS 33-1805 for HOA’s. Basically the statutes state that all homeowners are entitled to get access to any non-confidential association record within 10 business days of a written request for those records. Meeting minutes are association records and therefore fall under this statute. The association must make the records available for you to view. if you wish a copy of any record the association cannot charge you more than $0.15 per page for copies.
    Many association try to deny access to meeting minutes because they are not an official record until the minutes are approved at the subsequent board meeting. This is absolute crap and simply shows that your association does not care about transparency and wants to deny access to the draft minutes as long as possible in the hope that people will just forget to ask later.

    To enforce this law you can use the Dept. of Real Estate’s dispute resolution process to force the association to comply with the law and provide you access to the draft minutes that you seek.

    Dennis

  2. Bente

    Thank you Dennis.
    Our association refuse to release minutes until they are approved and nobody gets to see draft minutes. They vote to approve the minutes at the meeting and then if you are lucky they post on website within 30 days.
    What can I point to to refute that?
    The statute does not mention that.

    Thx again
    Bente

  3. benteh

    Thank you Dennis
    I posted s response earlier, but I do not see it so I am trying again.
    We have had to use the statute to get financial documents in the past. Make sense minutes are under the same statute.
    We are however not entitled to minutes until approved, and usually they get posted on the website 30 days after approval if we are lucky.
    We have not had any minutes posted since March 2019.
    I will request all minutes as per the statute. They will however not release draft minutes.

    What law can I use to refute their claim?
    Thx again
    Bente

    1. dennisl

      Bente;
      The claim that minutes are not official records until approved is accurate to a point but is really simply a tactic to shade and eliminate transparency in the association business. Any association wishing to conduct their business with complete transparency will provide draft minutes to anyone once they are generated. The laws for public bodies (cities and state and county agencies) ARS 38-431.01 require that draft minutes be made available 3 business days after any public meeting. The argument from the HOA attorneys is that Title 10 for non profit corporations (which have no open meeting requirements) have no requirement for draft minutes. The AZ attorney General in an opinion in 1997 concluded that the definition of a meeting relative to HOA’s and Condo’s comes from the definition provided in the Public body section of statute not the non-profit portion of statute. While it would be a significant leap to conclude that the public body statute for draft minutes should also apply to HOA’s, it is a logical if not legal conclusion.
      I introduced a bill this year HB-2483 that included in that bill language that HOA’s must make draft minutes available to any homeowner 15 business days after any meeting. However that bill was successfully killed by the HOA trade industry prior to it ever being heard in committee. That will have to wait for next session.
      Just because an association does not have to provide draft minutes does not mean that it should not do so to benefit the community. Many communities do provide drafts minutes to anyone, because they have nothing to hide. Yours’s clearly sending the message to your community that they don’t care about the residents and especially do not want the residents to know anything about what they are doing. Communities like this are why we have open meeting laws, and I would suspect that they stretch the boundaries of what they discuss in closed session contrary to the precise limits of the law.

      When boards take these stands there is only one thing that homeowners can do and that is replace the board with one that will be more receptive to transparency. SB-1412 in this session will ensure the homeowners rights to organize to deal with community business including the recall of board members.

      Dennis

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