Case Law: Governing Documents

  • Almanor Lakeside Villas Owners Association v. Carson
    (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 761
    [Attorney’s Fees; Prevailing Party] Where both sides achieved some positive net effect as a result of the court’s ruling, a prevailing party determination is made by comparing the practical effect of the relief attained by each; After resolving the issue of prevailing party in an action to enforce the governing documents, a trial court has ...
  • Bear Creek Planning Committee v. Ferwerda
    (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1178
    [Architectural Control; Architectural Standards] A HOA had the authority to adopt architectural standards beyond those set forth in the CC&Rs based upon empowering language in the CC&Rs governing the same.
  • Blue Lagoon Community Association. v. Mitchell
    (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 472
    [Amendments to CC&Rs; Court Petition] Objectors to a petition brought pursuant to Civ. Code § 1356 (§ 4275) are not entitled to costs and attorney’s fees when the petition is denied.
  • Cobb v. Ironwood Country Club
    (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 960
    [ADR; Bylaws Amendment] An amendment to the Bylaws by the HOA incorporating an arbitration provision does not bind ongoing disputes and accrued claims.
  • Colony Hill v. Ghamaty
    (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1156
    [Rent Restrictions; Single-Family Use] A “single-family” use restriction in the association’s CC&Rs could prohibit an owner from renting portions of his unit to separate, unrelated individuals that did not have any pre-existing or ‘familial’-type relationship with each other. Such a restriction did not violate the owner’s rights of privacy under the California Constitution.
  • Dover Village Association v. Jennison
    (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 123
    [Maintenance; Board Deference] The deference afforded to HOA Boards for maintenance decisions does not extend to the Board’s interpretation as to the scope of the HOA’s maintenance responsibilities under its CC&Rs.
  • Duffey v. Superior Court
    (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 425
    [Declaration; Enforcement] HOAs may file declaratory relief actions for an authoritative interpretation of the governing documents; An owner need not be a defendant in any lawsuit brought by a HOA to discharge its own duty to enforce the CC&Rs simply because that owner complains about a neighbor’s proposed construction.
  • Ekstrom v. Marquesa at Monarch Beach Homeowners Association
    (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1111
    [Architectural Control; Board Powers] An association’s board of directors may not adopt rules that are in conflict with the CC&Rs.
  • Farber v. Bay View Terrace Homeowners Association
    (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1007
    [Enforcement; Standing to Sue] A prior owner of a unit within an association does not have standing to enforce the CC&Rs.
  • Fourth La Costa Condominium Owners Association v. Seith
    (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 472
    [CC&R Amendments; Real Estate Signs] Court upheld lender consent requirement for CC&R amendment, rather than lender vote; Real estate signs may be regulated for aesthetic purposes and may be prohibited from being posted in HOA common areas.
  • Golden Gateway Center v. Golden Gateway Tenants Association
    (2001) 111 Cal.Rptr.2d 336
    [Freedom of Speech; Private Property] Actions of a private property owner constitute state action for purposes of California’s free speech clause only if the property is freely and openly accessible to the public.
  • Grossman v. Park Fort Washington Association
    (2012) 212 Cal. App. 4th 1128
    [Attorney’s Fees; ADR; Pre-Litigation] Pre-litigation attorney’s fees that are incurred in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are recoverable by the prevailing party in subsequent ligation.
  • Heather Farms Homeowners Association v. Robinson
    (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1568
    [Attorney’s Fees; Prevailing Party] The determination as to who is the “prevailing party” entitled to its attorney’s fees under the Davis-Stirling Act is based on the court’s analysis of which party prevailed on a practical level. When that determination is made, the court’s ruling should be affirmed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion.
  • Liebler v. Point Loma Tennis Club
    (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 1600
    [Operating Rules; Non-Resident Use] A HOA may create and enforce a rule excluding non-resident owners from use of the HOA’s common area recreational facilities.
  • Martin v. Bridgeport Community Association
    (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1024
    [CC&R Enforcement; Renter Standing] The right to enforce CC&Rs is tied to ownership in a property; renters do not have standing to sue a HOA for a violation of its CC&Rs.
  • Mission Shores Association v. Pheil
    (2008) 83 Cal.App.4th 789
    [Amendments to CC&Rs; Rent Restriction] An amendment to the CC&Rs which empowered the HOA to evict tenants who violate the CC&Rs was held to be reasonable.
  • Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Association, Inc.
    (1994) 8 Cal. 4th 361
    [Governing Documents; Use Restrictions] CC&R restrictions are presumed reasonable, and are enforceable unless they are arbitrary, impose burdens on the use of land that outweigh their benefits, or violate public policy.
  • O’Connor v. Village Green Owners Association
    (1983) 33 Cal.3d 790
    [Discrimination; CC&R Age Restrictions] A provision in a HOA’s CC&Rs prohibiting residency by persons under the age of 18 is discriminatory, invalid and unenforceable.
  • Pacific Hills Homeowners Association v. Prun
    (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1557
    [Architectural Control; Statute of Limitations] The 5 year statute of limitations under Code Civ. Pro. § 336 applies to both recorded restrictions as well as unrecorded restrictions such as architectural guidelines.
  • Palm Springs Villas II HOA v. Parth
    (2016) 248 Cal.App.4th 268
    [Fiduciary Duty; Business Judgment Rule] The Business Judgment Rule does not automatically shield a HOA director from liability that may result from the director’s failure to exercise reasonable diligence or failure to act within the scope of the director’s authority under the HOA’s governing documents.
  • Parrott v. Mooring Townhomes Association
    (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 873
    [Attorney’s Fees; Prevailing Party] The court found the Association to be the prevailing party and awarded its attorney fees after homeowners filed a request for dismissal of complaint.
  • Peak Investments v. South Peak Homeowners Association, Inc.
    (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1363
    [CC&R Amendments; Court Petition] Proposed HOA CC&R amendments must be approved by at least a simple majority of the total votes in a HOA before a trial court may reduce the approval requirement set in the CC&Rs.
  • Posey v. Leavitt
    (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 1236
    [Restrictions; Duty to Enforce] A homeowner has the right to sue the HOA to compel the HOA to uphold its duty to enforce the restrictions.
  • Rancho Mirage Country Club Homeowners Association v. Hazelbaker
    (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 252
    [Attorney’s Fees; ADR; Settlement Agreement] An action to enforce a settlement agreement reached between a HOA and an owner through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was held to be an action to enforce the governing documents entitling the prevailing party to an award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Civ. Code § 5975.
  • Ritchey v. Villa Nueva Condominium Association
    (1978) 81 Cal.App.3d 688
    [Use Restrictions; Nuisances] A HOA has the power to issue reasonable regulations governing an owner’s use of his unit in order to prevent activities which might prove annoying to the general residents.
  • Salehi v. Surfside III Condominium Owners Association
    (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 1146
    [Attorney’s Fees; Prevailing Party] A HOA is deemed a prevailing party entitled to recover its attorney’s fees where the outcome of the lawsuit results in the HOA realizing its litigation objectives on a practical level.
  • Tract 19051 Homeowners Association v. Kemp
    (2015) 60 Cal. 4th 1135
    [Attorney’s Fees Awards; Non-CID Action] Attorney’s fees may be recovered by the prevailing party under Civ. Code § 5975 in an action to enforce the governing documents regardless of whether the association is in fact a common interest development that is subject to the Davis-Stirling Act.
  • Villa De Las Palmas Homeowners Association v. Terifaj
    (2004) 33 Cal.4th 73
    [CC&R Amendments; Binding Effect] CC&R amendments enacted by homeowners are accorded the same presumption of reasonableness as those imposed by developer; CC&R amendments are binding against both current and future homeowners.
  • Ward v. Superior Court
    (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 60
    [Enforcement; Recorded Notice of Noncompliance] An association is not legally authorized to record a notice of noncompliance in response to a member’s violation of the CC&Rs.
  • Watts v. Oak Shores Community Association
    (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 466
    [Operating Rules; Rental Activities; Board Deference] Homeowners associations may adopt reasonable rules and impose fees on members relating to short-term rentals of condominium units.