Facts: An attorney was hired by two members of a homeowners’ association (HOA) and granted power of attorney to participate on the hiring members’ behalf at HOA meetings. The HOA’s bylaws state only owners may participate in meetings and membership cannot be reassigned. The remaining HOA members did not allow the attorney to participate on behalf of the hiring members at the HOA meeting.

Claim: The attorney sought the right to act on the hiring members’ behalf at HOA meetings, claiming he cannot be prevented from doing so since the hiring members granted him power of attorney.

Counterclaim: The remaining members sought to exclude the attorney, claiming the attorney may not participate in HOA meetings on the hiring members’ behalf since the HOA’s bylaws state anyone who participates must own property in the HOA community and membership cannot be reassigned, regardless of the power of attorney.

Holding: A California court of appeals held the attorney may be excluded from participating on the hiring members’ behalf at HOA meetings since the HOA bylaws requiring a participant to be an owner of property in the community trumps the power of attorney granted by the hiring members. [Liberty LLc v. HOA (2013) __ CA4th__]

Editor’s note –The HOA has the right to establish how its meetings are run despite the validity of the assigned power of attorney. Thus, the pre-established HOA bylaws trump the power of attorney which attempted to grant the attorney the right to participate.