HOA ADVISER: What kind of evidence can be used in a hearing? – Article By Michael T. Chulak
Q. Our board recently held a hearing to determine whether to fine a member for an alleged rule violation. The board allowed hearsay to be introduced. Is this allowable by law?
A. Yes. Boards are not required to follow the California Rules of Evidence used by courts. They may hear the evidence and then weigh it based on their own determination of its reliability.
Q. Our board is intending to file a suit against a member for failing to pay assessments. The delinquency now exceeds $4,500. Are we required to sue in small claims court or may we sue in Superior Court?
A. The association may sue in either court. If it decides to use the Superior Court, it will need to be represented by an attorney. Depending on the facts, one court action may be better than the other. You should get advice from an HOA collection attorney before you decide.
Q. Our HOA is intending to borrow funds to upgrade our property. Most of the owners are happy about it, but would like to know if we can deduct the interest on the loan.
A. The individual owners may not deduct the interest paid on the loan. The HOA is the borrower and will pay any interest.
Q. Do members of the HOA have the right to inspect correspondence between the board and the association’s attorney?
A. No. It is absolutely privileged.
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Michael T. Chulak is the founding partner of Michael T. Chulak & Associates, A Law Corporation. Questions can be sent by e-mail Advertisement to MChulak@MTCLaw.com. Answers are general in nature. An attorney should always be consulted when legal advice is needed.