September 18, 2006
PETITIONS FOR CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
By: George Coppolo, Chief Attorney
You asked about the law regarding the ability of condominium unit owners to petition for an association or board of directors' meeting.
State law allows unit owners to call a special meeting of the unit owners association but not of the board of directors. This authority is contained in one statute (CGS § 47-250). This law establishes the minimum requirement for membership support required to force a meeting – unit owners owning at least 20% of the votes in the association. But it allows the condominium's bylaws to establish a lower threshold. It also establishes notice, timing, and content requirements. State law does not specify any other requirements. We could not find any case law interpreting this statute, nor was there any discussion of this provision when the legislature adopted it as part of the unit ownership act in 1983 (An Act Concerning A Common Interest Ownership Act, PA 83-474, § 51). This statute has never been amended.
According to Matt Perlstein, a condominium law expert, typically condominium associations are formed as non-stock corporations, although this is not required. This provides some additional guidance since the non-stock corporation laws contain some additional rules for calling special meetings. For example, if the association has not done so within 15 days after receiving the members' request, members have the right to call a meeting themselves. The non-stock corporation law also authorizes the court to order a special meeting under certain circumstances.
ASSOCIATION MEETINGS CALLED BY UNIT OWNERS (CGS § 47-250)
State law requires that a meeting of the condominium association be held at least once each year. Special meetings of the association may be called by the president, a majority of the executive board, or by unit owners having 20%, or any lower percentage specified in the bylaws, of the votes in the association.
The law requires the secretary, or other officer the bylaws specify, to cause notice of an association meeting to be hand-delivered or sent prepaid by U.S. mail to the mailing address of each unit or to any other mailing address the unit owner designates in writing not fewer than 10 nor more than 60 days before the meeting. The notice must state the time and place of the meeting and the items on the agenda, including (1) the general nature of any proposed amendment to the declaration or bylaws, (2) any budget changes, and (3) any proposal to remove an executive board officer or member.
NON-STOCK CORPORATION LAWS REGARDING SPECIAL MEETINGS
As noted above, most condominium associations are formed as non- stock corporations. Thus, certain non-stock corporation laws can be looked to for additional rules for calling a special association meeting.
For example, CGS § 33-1062(a) requires a non-stock corporation to call a special meeting if the members holding at least the voting percentage specified in the bylaws sign, date, and deliver to the corporation one or more written demands for the meeting describing the purpose for which it is to be held. If the corporation does not call such a special meeting within 15 days after receiving the members' request, the members may call the meeting.
Special meetings of members may be held in or out of Connecticut at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the association's bylaws. If no place is stated in the bylaws, special meetings must be held at the corporation's principal office (CGS § 33-1062(c)).
Only business within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice may be conducted at a special meeting of members (CGS § 33-1062(d)).
Court-Ordered Special Meeting
The superior court for the judicial district where a corporation's principal office or, if none in this state, its registered office is located may order a meeting to be held on application of a member who signed a demand for a special meeting if: (1) notice of the special meeting was not given within 30 days after the date the demand was delivered to the corporation's secretary; or (2) the special meeting was not held in accordance with the notice (CGS § 33-1063(a)).
The court may:
1. fix the time and place of the meeting;
2. determine the members entitled to vote at the meeting;
3. specify a record date for determining members entitled to notice of and to vote at the meeting;
4. prescribe the form and content of the meeting notice;
5. fix the quorum required for specific matters to be considered at the meeting, or direct that the votes represented at the meeting constitute a quorum for action on those matters; and
6. enter other orders necessary to accomplish the purpose or purposes of the meeting (CGS § 33-1063(b)).