NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE ALLOWS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS REMOTE MEETINGS TO CONTINUE
On December 20, 2021, New Jersey’s Legislature passed S. 4112/A. 5549 (2021); and, on January 10, 2022, Governor Murphy signed the bill into law. The law, while short, is immensely helpful to Community Associations throughout the state, many of which have adapted to the new remote meeting procedures previously permitted during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
The statute, which went into effect immediately, amends the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act. As the name implies, the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act covers all nonprofit organizations within the state including Condominium Associations, Homeowners’ Associations, and other, similar Community Associations.
Beginning April 14, 2020, the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act was amended to allow meetings to “be held by means of remote communication,” during a state of emergency declared by the Governor. This change was particularly important during the Public Health Emergency put in place for COVID-19: It allowed for Community Associations to hold meetings and elections safely and legally, despite the ongoing pandemic.
This change to the law, among other revisions, removes the qualification that only permitted remote meetings during a state of emergency. In other words, Community Associations may continue to hold meetings remotely even after the state of emergency comes to an end.
There are certain rules that apply should a Community Association decide to take advantage of its ability to hold meetings remotely. The board must authorize and adopt guidelines and procedures for governing such a remote meeting—albeit most boards already adopted such procedures months ago. Members who participate in meetings remotely shall be deemed present and entitled to vote. Importantly, Community Associations holding remote meetings must implement reasonable measures to ensure that everyone participating in the meeting is a member or a proxy. Associations must also record and keep a record of any votes or other actions taken by remote communication during such meetings.
Ultimately, this law preserves the new status quo put in place during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Those Community Associations which have adapted to remote meetings can continue utilizing them. We recommend that those Associations who have not yet implemented guidelines for remote meetings adopt resolutions laying out procedures for doing so.
If your Community Association needs help drafting or adopting guidelines for remote meetings, we at Griffin Alexander, P.C., can help. Our attorneys are experienced and well-versed in Community Association law and the regulations necessary to pass resolutions and implement changes to meeting procedures.
The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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