Facts: A homeowners’ association (HOA) held an election to amend its bylaws to increase the spending threshold that requires a vote for approval. With the ballot, the HOA included a letter advocating for the amendment and published additional materials using HOA resources in support of the amendment. The HOA published no opposition materials and did not allow owners within the HOA to use HOA resources to voice an opposition, as required in the HOA’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). An election to increase the dollar threshold passed.
Claim: An owner in the HOA community sought to void the election’s results, claiming the election was invalid since the HOA violated its CC&Rs as it used HOA resources to advocate a view and did not allow members with opposing views access to the same resource.
Counter claim: The HOA claimed the election results were valid since all resources went to informational use, not advocating a particular position.
Holding: A California Court of Appeals held the election results were void and the HOA may not amend its bylaws since the election violated the HOA’s CC&Rs requiring opposing views to receive equal access to HOA resources. [Wittenberg v. Beachwalk Homeowners Association (2013) ___ CA4th___]