Court Action to enforce Davis Stirling Act Section 4955

Section 4955  (a) A member of an association may bring a civil action for declaratory or equitable relief for a violation of this article by the association, including, but not limited to, injunctive relief, restitution, or a combination thereof, within one year of the date the cause of action accrues.

(b) A member who prevails in a civil action to enforce the member’s rights pursuant to this article shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, and the court may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, except that each identical violation shall be subject to only one penalty if the violation affects each member equally. A prevailing association shall not recover any costs, unless the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.

So, no Small Claim Court like for inspection enforcement!

Resources & Links

Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO)

See our web pages on

Records Inspection – Enforcement 5235

3 comments on “Open Meeting Act – Enforcement – Section 4955

  1. What happened when a board member (or multiple members) go into executive session while they were unaware of the restrictions of what can be discussed in a closed session?

    This is in CA, so CA Civil Code 4935 is what I refer to.

    Also, can a board ever make either rules or capricious decisions on why they can go into executive to ever discuss an unauthorized topic, or is this always a no-no?

    One more thing: if two board members are at odds, and lets say one has a complaint against the other, do the rules regarding IDR and/or ADR apply?

    What if the society has established no process for dealing with what would equate as a grievance in the corporate world?

    If we go to Roberts Rules (if it is their adopted parliamentary rules) they mention discipline, and details of how a trial can be carried out, but this seems like a lot for some boards to deal with..and Robert’s specifies it should take place in Executive, but CA does not give allowances for something like this, unless we interpret ‘member discipline’ to include board member complaints about other board member, and then apply perhaps IDR/ADR to such a situation… if they have a complaint about conduct (lets say, a threat, unfair treatment, abuse of power, or some kind of abusive behavior).
    So… in the absence of a policy, or procedure, and an inability to use executive session for hashing such an issue out, what should a society do?

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