The Open Meeting Act grants HOA members the right to speak at membership meetings and open board meetings, except for executive session board meetings. (Civ. Code §§ 4925; 5000(b).) The time period for when members are permitted to speak during an open board meeting and address the board is commonly referred to as “Open Forum” or the “Member Comment Period.”
A member’s right to speak at an open board meeting is subject to a “reasonable time limit” established by the board. (Civ. Code § 4925(b).) Time limits commonly utilized by HOAs in this respect range between 2 and 4 minutes per member.
Topics Discussed; Questions & Responses
Civil Code Section 4930 generally prohibits the board from discussing or acting upon items that were not placed on the agenda that was included with the notice of meeting. (See “Board Meeting Agenda Requirements.”) However Civil Code Section 4930 “does not prohibit a member or resident who is not a director from speaking on issues not on the agenda.” (Civ. Code § 4930(a).) Thus, even if an issue is not listed on the agenda, a member may still speak on that issue. Additionally, regardless of whether a member makes a statement or poses a question about a non-agenda item, Civil Code Section 4930(b) allows a director, an agent of the board, or the association’s manager to do any of the following:
- “Briefly respond to the member’s statements made or questions posed” by the member; (Civ. Code §4930(b)(1).)
- “Ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement, or make a brief report of the person’s own activities, whether in response to questions posed by a member or based upon the person’s own initiative.” (Civ. Code § 4930(b)(2).)