Three Forms that NJ Law Requires a Community Association to Complete for Every Annual Meeting and Board Election, and Special Meeting at which Members are Voting.
January 26th, 2020 | Community Association Law Blog
By Eric F. Frizzell, Esq.
Experienced property managers know that a community association’s by-laws require presentation of a “Proof of Notice” as part of the agenda for a members’ meeting and board election. But did you know that New Jersey law also requires the following three forms to be completed for every annual meeting and board election, and other meeting at which the members will vote (such as a vote to approve amendments to the governing documents or a special assessment)?
1. Alphabetical list of members entitled to vote. The vast majority of condominium associations and HOA’s in New Jersey are non-profit corporations that are subject to The New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act. The Act requires an officer or agent who is in charge of the “membership record books” of the corporation – the condominium association or HOA – to “make and certify a complete list of the members entitled to vote at a members’ meeting or any adjournment thereof.” The list must be arranged alphabetically by member, must be produced at the meeting, and must be available for inspection by any member during the entire meeting. If these requirements are not met, the meeting must be adjourned, on the demand of any member who is present at the meeting in person or by proxy, until the association complies.
Therefore, the association’s attorney should coordinate with the property manager to assure that the list is created and available at the meeting, and should prepare the necessary certification for the manager or appropriate officer to sign prior to the meeting.
Cooperatives are subject to an almost identical provision of New Jersey’s Business Corporation Act.
2. Oath of Inspectors. Almost every community association’s by-laws require inspectors to be appointed for the annual meeting. (The Act addresses how this is done). The Act requires that before inspectors start to perform their responsibilities, they must “take and sign an oath faithfully to execute the duties of inspector at the meeting with strict impartiality and according to the best” of their ability.
The Association’s attorney should administer the verbal oath to each inspector and have them sign the written oath, which the attorney should prepare and bring to the meeting.
3. Report of Election Results. The Act requires inspectors to make a “report in writing of any challenge, question or matter determined by them,” if requested by the person presiding at the meeting or any member entitled to vote at the meeting. Since the results of a board election are clearly a “matter determined by” inspectors, and association members obviously always request a “report” of the election results, the association’s attorney should bring to the meeting a form on which the results of the election and any other votes can be recorded. Our law firm recommends that the report be in the form of a certification that is signed by each inspector and notarized by the attorney.
Our law firm has supervised more than 400 community association annual meetings and board elections, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any aspect of the process.