September 8, 2015

Washington Court Affirms Homeowners Association's Internal Procedures

The Washington Court of Appeals recently ruled in an unpublished opinion that an owner's legal challenges to a Mason County homeowners association's internal procedures had no merit. The Court first ruled that the association's governing documents do not grant owners a general right to appeal the decisions of its board of directors. It next held that the association could exclude a board member from closed executive sessions of board meetings when he acted in his capacity as an owner and threatened litigation against it.  The Court finally ruled that the association's hazard tree policy is valid because it provides sufficient notice of proposed tree removals and an adequate appeal process.

The eleventh footnote of the court's opinion observes that homeowners associations in Washington state are not bound by constitutional due process requirements.  The first footnote of the court's opinion emphasizes that those associations are instead bound to manage their affairs pursuant to their governing documents, RCW 64.38, and RCW 24.03 (if incorporated).