A member of an association has certain rights to inspect and copy various association records. However, the member’s request to inspect association records must be for a proper purpose reasonably related to his or her interest as a member. (Civ. Code § 5230; Corp. Code §§ 8330, 8333; See also Tract No. 7260 Association, Inc. v. Parker (2017).)
Actions for Misuse of Association Records
Where a member sells association records, uses them for a commercial purpose, or uses them for any other purpose not reasonably related to his or her interest as a member, Civil Code Section 5230 allows the association to take legal action against the member for injunctive relief and damages:
“(a) The association records, and any information from them, may not be sold, used for a commercial purpose, or used for any other purpose not reasonably related to a member’s interest as a member. An association may bring an action against any person who violates this section for injunctive relief and for actual damages to the association caused by the violation.
(b) This section may not be construed to limit the right of an association to damages for misuse of information obtained from the association records pursuant to this section or to limit the right of an association to injunctive relief to stop the misuse of this information.” (Civ. Code § 5230(a)-(b).)
Recovery of Attorney’s Fees & Costs
Where an association is successful in enforcing its rights under Civil Code Section 5230, the association is “entitled to recover reasonable costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees.” (Civ. Code § 5230(c).)
Related Case Law
- Tract No. 7260 Association, Inc. v. Parker
(2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 24
[Membership List; Inspection Denial] A homeowners association (HOA) may restrict a member’s request for access to the HOA’s membership list when the request is for an improper purpose.
- Worldmark v. Wyndham Resort Dev. Corp.
(2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1017
[Membership List; Email Addresses] The “addresses” of members which must be disclosed with a member’s request to inspect the membership list pursuant to Corp. Code § 8330(a) includes the members’ email addresses.
Access to HOA Membership List Must be for a Proper Purpose – Published on HOA Lawyer Blog (April, 2017)