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Owner receives mandate to attend executive session

November 01, 2009|Stephen Glassman and Donie Vanitzian

Question: I was "mandated" to attend an executive session of my homeowners association because I speak to other owners and voice my opinion on the condition of our complex.

I feel I'm being singled out by our board because I was critical of the board's lack of enforcement.

For months, our association has ignored various issues that affect communal property values. I wasn't nitpicking on minutiae but expressed deep concern regarding fire, termites and construction issues.

Is it possible to require an owner to attend an executive session? Am I legally obligated to attend such a session, and does the board have the authority to mandate this?

Answer: Nothing prevents you from contacting other owners. The homeowners association board of directors is a governing body, not a police force.

Owners are not legally obligated to attend any such executive sessions, and no law mandates that they must. Likewise, you cannot be penalized for nonattendance. Attendance at such sessions is, under the law, at the request of the titleholder and only in certain circumstances. Owners are not even obligated to attend board meetings, but they should.

When a titleholder is asked to attend an executive session the choice to attend or not is solely the owner's.

Executive sessions can only be called for the reasons specified in Civil Code section 1363.05(b): to consider litigation; matters relating to the formation of contracts with third parties; member discipline; personnel matters; or to meet with a member, upon the member's request, regarding the member's payment of assessments, as specified in Civil Code sections 1367 or 1367.1.

It is unclear what language was included in your "mandate" to attend the board's executive session. But even if the board is contemplating some form of discipline against you, the basis for that discipline must be spelled out to you and must be within the bounds of the law.


Send questions to P.O. Box 11843, Marina del Rey, CA 90295 or e-mail

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