articles by Barry A. Ross

When is a homeowners association held to the same standard as a government agency?

A homeowners association is treated in many respects like a government agency because of the similarities between governmental agencies and homeowners associations.  Damon v. Ocean Hills Journalism Club (2000) 85 Cal. App. 4th 468, 475; Ruiz v. Harbor View Community Association (2005) 134 Cal. App. 4th 1456; Healy v. Tuscany Hills Landscape and Recreation Corp. (2006) 137 Cal. App. 4th 1.  As stated in Damon v. Ocean Hills Journalism Club at page 475:

“As our Supreme Court has recognized, owners of planned development units ‘comprise a little democratic subsociety…’ (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assn. (1984) 8 Cal. 4th 361, 374 [33 Cal. Rptr. 2d 63, 878 p. 2d 1275]; see Cohen v. Kite Hill Community Assn. (1983) 142 Cal.App. 3d 642, 651 [191 Cal. Rptr. 209].) In exchange for the benefits of common ownership, the residents elect a legislative/executive board and delegate powers to this board.  This delegation concerns not only activities conducted in the common areas, but also extends to life within ‘the confines of the home itself.’  (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assn., supra, 8 Cal. 4th at p.373)  A homeowner’s association board is in effect ‘a quasi-government entity paralleling in almost every case the powers, duties, and responsibilities of a municipal government.’  (Cohen v. Kite Hill Community Assn., supra, 142 Cal. App. 3d at p. 651.)”      

See also:  Cabrera v. Alam (2011) 197 Cal. App. 4th 1077, in which Mr. Ross represented the prevailing party in a defamation action brought by the former Board President against the current Board President.