How to sue or force your HOA to turn over Financials and other records

How can one force or sue their HOA to turn over records?

I don’t know what it is, but so many HOA boards, directors and property managers seem to think HOA documents, records and financials are all secret.  They are not!  We are all equal owners and it’s OUR money.  My shrink thinks the Boards and Property Managers might suffer from Napoleonic  Complex.  The legislative intent of Civil Code §5200  is for homeowners to be able to see what the boards are doing as the home owners have the biggest stake in it.  There may be 300 homeowners but 5 people on the board, so that makes sense doesn’t it?

Here’s an 2.22.2015 article from the LA Times on information requests.

Corporations Code sections 8330, 8333, 8334; Civil Code sections § 5200, 5205, 5210, 5260

Here’s extensive Information on filing Small Claims Actions  where I’ve searched and searched the internet and believe I have just about every Guide, video, judges manual on how to file and present your case. If you know of something else that’s helpful please put it in the comments below with a link to the source.

Small Claims is still very exact.  You must show the Judge what codes you are talking about.  Especially important is Civil Code §5235 (b) that allows Small Claims to hear your case, and not hiring an attorney and going to Superior Court as some of the other provisions of Davis Stirling mandate!   In my experience, the Judge will put out their copy of the code, see picture at the right and double-check it.  Then show your written requests for records.  I’m not an attorney, you really should read and check all the guides, forms etc. on Davis StirlingSmall Claims and Attorney Websites or consultation.

Hopefully the HOA will learn as the Judge can impose a $500 fine under (a).  If you go to Superior Court and use an attorney, the HOA can be forced to pay your attorney costs (a).

I won a judgment against my HOA for 2 counts, $1k in fines around 10 years ago.  Unfortunately, the HOA keeps wanting to call everything confidential.  It’s a constant struggle.  Even though it’s not an item for executive session §4935. or an item that is permissible to withhold or redact under 5215.   I made the mistake of letting the fine go… based on the HOA promise to give records in the future.  It hasn’t happened.  The Board doesn’t understand what a contract is, especially consideration.

I guess it’s Napoleonic  Complex  if anyone has any other ideas, please put them in comments below.  Especially helpful would be links if you have a citation – proof.

IDR Internal Dispute Resolution – Meet & Confer – ADR Alternate Dispute Resolution

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