California Appellate Court decision (September 20, 2013).
A California HOA enacted an operating rule that prevents a person from seeking a position on the board if that prospective candidate is related by blood or marriage to any current board member, or to any current candidate for such office. A homeowner, whose wife was a member of the board, challenged the rule as violating his right to nominate himself as a candidate for the board and further on the ground that the rule violated the standards applicable to an association’s operating rules by being inconsistent with governing law and the association’s governing documents.
In upholding the rule, the court stated that the board was granted the statutory power to adopt rules about the management and operation of the development, and “the conduct of the business and affairs of the association.” The court found that the record supported a conclusion that the relationship rule was a legitimate response to business concerns among association members that allowing a voting bloc on the board would not be in the best interests of the association. Accordingly, the board’s policy decision to enact the relationship rule constituted a reasonable attempt to balance the respective interests, and is “consistent” with the nature of the specific requirements in the governing documents and other rules, i.e., residency and membership in good standing in the association. Such requirements legitimately promote the ability of the Board members to impartially conduct the business affairs of the development. The court concluded that the relationship rule was valid, enforceable and not inconsistent with the governing documents.
See: Friars Village HOA v Hansing