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Case Law - Board of Directors

Sunset Greens Homeowners Association v. Spagenski

(2021) 4th Dist. August 2021 (UNPUBLISHED) A community association, aided by supportive CC&R provisions, may declare a vicious dog with a history of attacks to be a nuisance and require its removal from the community. The board need not consider abatement or the likelihood of future harm in determining whether a breach occurred or in exercising its enforcement discretion. Please note that as this is an unpublished court opinion, under California Rules of Court, Rule 8.115, it cannot be cited or relied on by a court or a party in any other action.

Affan v. Portofino Cove Homeowners Association

(2010) 189 Cal. App. 4th. Involved continual sewer back up in plaintiffs' vacation unit that was largely ignored by the Association. The Court held that the Association has burden to prove its decision not to maintain the sewer line was based on a good faith decision after an investigation. The judicial deference doctrine does not shield an association from liability for ignoring problems; instead, it protects the Association's good faith decisions to maintain and repair common areas. Simply, when the Association refuses to act after receiving notice of a common area problem, the judicial deference rule will not apply.

Haley v. Casa Del Rey Homeowners Association

(2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 863 Relying on Lamden v. La Jolla Shores Clubdominium Homeowners Association (1999) 21 Cal.4th 249, the court held that the association had discretion to select among means for remedying violations of the CC&Rs without resorting to expensive and time-consuming litigation, and the courts should defer to that discretion in a case involving homeowners who brought an action against the association and other owners for, among other things, encroachments into the common area.  See also, Beehan v. Lido Isle Community Association (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 858.

Lamden v. La Jolla Shores Clubdominium Association

(1999) 21 Cal.4th 249 California Supreme Court held that a court should defer to a board's authority and presumed expertise in discretionary decisions regarding the maintenance and repair of the common areas, provided that the decisions are based upon reasonable investigation, made in good faith and with regard to the best interest of the association, and are within the scope of authority given to the board under the relevant statutes and CC&Rs.

Frances T. v. Village Green Owners Association

(1986) 42 Cal.3d 490 The California Supreme Court held that a condominium association may be held to a landlord's standard of care as to common areas under its control, in a case brought by a unit owner who was raped in the unlit common area of the association after she had been instructed to remove the lights she installed because the association had not.

Beehan v. Lido Isle Community Association

(1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 858 An association may exercise prudent business discretion in deciding whether or not to sue for a violation of the governing documents.


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