New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law P.L. 2017, Ch. 106 (S-2492/A-4091) on July 13, 2017. This new law, will affect community associations, such as condominiums and homeowner associations, throughout the state of New Jersey by making the board election process more democratic. Additionally, this new legislation will supersede every community association’s by-laws, if there are conflicts between the new law and current By-Laws. Accordingly, many Associations will seek to amend their By-Laws to incorporate provisions of this law. In some cases, elections may have to be postponed in order to work on election procedures.
Some highlights of this new law are as follows:
This legislation will undoubtedly require discussion at the association level, in order to assure that the election process works. For example, if a nomination by one member is made of a spouse or neighbor, can that nominee’s name be added to the ballot before the nominated candidate agrees to accept the nomination? If no verification of the candidate’s intention occurs, then it is possible that members will be voting for a candidate who will, upon hearing of the nomination, refuse to serve. If the association conducts verification, then extra time must be added to the period it takes to send final notices to the community. Perhaps the Association can require that nominations only be made with the written consent of the person nominated. If so, forms requiring a signature by the nominee should be made.
Procedures to check for good standing for those nominated or nominating themselves must be adopted. For example, should there be notification by the association to the candidate that he/she is not in good standing? Should there be a cure period during which the candidate can return to good standing by the time of the official notice of election? The timing of the cure period and its effect upon the sending of notices will be important.
It goes without saying that running a successful election is a difficult task for community associations. Assuring fairness in the midst of change is especially difficult. We are here to help. To make sure your community association is fully prepared for a successful election, contact the attorneys of Griffin Alexander, P.C. and begin discussion as to the manner in which these changes will affect your association’s election process.
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 upon particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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