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Perspectives

Court Rejects Procedural Challenges to Validity of Amendments to Condominium Declaration and By-Laws

In 2011 and 2012, the unit owners of a condominium voted to approve amendments to the Condominium Declaration and By-Laws. A court proceeding brought by the one of the unit owners in 2017, challenging the amendments’ validity on procedural grounds, has been dismissed. One basis for the challenge was that the Condominium failed to record the amendments with the City Register for several years after they were adopted. In the court’s judgment, this was a “technical defect” that was insufficient to invalidate the amendments. It was undisputed that the unit owners had voted on both sets of amendments, that the unit owners’ votes were duly counted and reported, that the board president signed the amendments, and they were eventually recorded with the City Register before the court proceeding was commenced.

The court further held that “[t]he process of holding the [unit owners’] meeting open . . . in order to reach a quorum was, at most, a technical defect” that was also insufficient to invalidate the vote. The court observed that holding the meeting open “allowed over 96% of the common interest to cast a vote, including petitioner.” In addition, “[p]etitioner waived any challenge to the procedure used to approve the . . . amendment by conceding . . . that a quorum was reached at the meeting.” Matter of Reynolds v. Towers on the Park Condominium, 178 A.D.3d 416 (1st Dep’t Dec. 3, 2019).