Litigation Approval Clause Upheld On Appeal

In Sawgrass Ridge Condominium Association v Alarie, an unpublished Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, the association filed suit claiming that the co-owner modified his deck without obtaining prior board approval as required by the condominium bylaws.  The association filed a motion for summary disposition.  The co-owner defended on the grounds that the association did not obtain co-owner approval prior to filing suit as required by the condominium bylaws.  The trial court granted the association summary disposition and the co-owner appealed.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded.  The condominium bylaws required the prior approval of the co-owners before filing suit.  The fact that the board approved the action was not sufficient.  Also, although a majority of co-owners signed a consent resolution ratifying the lawsuit after it was filed, the documents required that any vote be taken at a meeting; apparently the bylaws did not have an “action without a meeting” provision.  

Pre-litigation approval clauses in condominium documents have been upheld previously.

© Steve Sowell 2017