BILL NUMBER: SB 259 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senator Benoit FEBRUARY 24, 2009 An act to amend Section 1363.09 of the Civil Code, relating to common interest developments. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SB 259, as introduced, Benoit. Common interest developments: elections. The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act provides for the creation and regulation of common interest developments. Under existing law, a common interest development is managed by an association pursuant to the provisions of the governing documents of the development. Existing law imposes specified requirements with respect to elections for the board of directors of an association. Existing law provides that, upon a finding that specified election procedures, or the adoption of and adherence to certain rules, were not followed, a court may void any results of the election. This bill would provide that, if a court voids any results of an election for one or more board members under the above provisions, the court shall not invalidate a decision of the board that was reached after the board was seated pursuant to that election unless the court finds that the action of the board was contrary to law or the governing documents. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 1363.09 of the Civil Code is amended to read: 1363.09. (a) A member of an association may bring a civil action for declaratory or equitable relief for a violation of this article by an association of which he or she is a member, including, but not limited to, injunctive relief, restitution, or a combination thereof, within one year of the date the cause of action accrues. Upon a finding that the election procedures of this article, or the adoption of and adherence to rules provided by Article 4 (commencing with Section 1357.100) of Chapter 2, were not followed, a court may void any results of the election. However, if the court voids any results of an election for one or more board members, the court shall not invalidate a decision of the board that was reached after the board was seated pursuant to that election unless the court finds that action of the board was contrary to law or the governing documents. (b) A member who prevails in a civil action to enforce his or her rights pursuant to this article shall be entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, and the court may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, except that each identical violation shall be subject to only one penalty if the violation affects each member of the association equally. A prevailing association shall not recover any costs, unless the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation. (c) A cause of action under Section 1363.03 with respect to access to association resources by a candidate or member advocating a point of view, the receipt of a ballot by a member, or the counting, tabulation, or reporting of, or access to, ballots for inspection and review after tabulation may be brought in small claims court if the amount of the demand does not exceed the jurisdiction of that court.