Hierarchy of Governing Documents

An association’s governing documents include various sets of documents (i.e., declaration (“CC&Rs”), bylaws, operating rules, etc.) that control the operation of the association and the common interest development (CID) it was formed to manage. Certain governing documents have authority over others.

Civil Code Section 4205 sets forth the hierarchy of authority as:

  1. The Law, except where the statute defers to language in the governing documents (see “Rules of Interpretation);
  2. Declaration (CC&Rs)
  3. Articles of Incorporation
  4. Bylaws
  5. Operating Rules (Rules & Regulations)

Rules of interpretation may assist in resolving conflicts between provisions contained within the same governing document.