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Is overthrowing a condo board without voting them out illegal and is planning to do so conspiracy?

Hardwick, MA |

I was the sole member of a condo board and continued to do the job for 3.5 years after my legal elected term ended because no one else wanted to do it. After I had started collections on units by hiring an attorney and not using small claims anymore, two unit owners with the help of one family friend started secret meetings to overthrow me. They got the majority of owners(7 out of 12 who were also behind) to believe that I wasn't the president and I couldn't be by default and started their own board and told them without any proof I was an embezzler and I was going to foreclose on them. I wasn't voted out, it was a very hostile take over and now I am being singled out because I took the reigns and worked it all by myself for more than 4 years.

I continued to do the work and I signed off on all legal documents and hired contractors when needed. I also did a majority of the maintenance around the units and the only problems I got were from the unit owners who did not want to pay their fees. The associations gives rules on how to vote out current leadership and vote in new, but since they didn't think they could swing the vote, they just said my position was invalid . So one, Was it legal to just start a new board and not vote me out and pressure me out? Two, if it wasn't legal for them to do that, could this be considered conspiracy to do something illegal since they held private meetings and planned to do this?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You really need to consult an attorney to review the condominium rules and regulations with respect to voting rights and continuing on in your position after your term expired. Civil conspiracy is fairly difficult to prove but you still may have rights and remedies that you should discuss with an attorney, such as collecting whatever fees you were entitled to collect and reimbursement for expenses incurred. An attorney may also be of help to deal with all the other owners ganging up on you. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

Asker

Posted

can you give me a what if? I know this isn't legal advice and doesn't mean I can quote you on it, but give me a what if, Like what if they did illegal overthrow the board? and They did have secret meetings behind closed doors intended to circumnavigate the proper procedures and then accidently copied emails to me stating their intentions and then actually telling me that I cantt be the president by default so there was no reason to vote me out and then held their meeting and documented it with minutes, Just a little What if.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

If you can prove that, you may have a viable civil conspiracy claim, among other claims, which would entitle you to compensatory damages. As to other possible claims, it really depends on the condominium bylaws and whether this was allowed under the bylaws. Have you suffered any harm as a result of the takeover? If not, it would be hard to bring a suit for anything.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

After rereading your additional information, you should still be an active board member. Generally bylaws provide in the absence of a vote existing members continue on in that role until voted otherwise. They should not be able to just declare your position invalid. Because you are being ganged up on it would probably be best to get a lawyer on your side even if just for a short period.

Asker

Posted

Is conspiracy in a civil matter is proven, does it become criminal? Thank you for your wealth of information.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

It depends on whether what they did constitutes a crime or not.

Asker

Posted

Well using misleading information and intimidation tactics, they took over the condo association illegally, not voting out previous officers, and forming their own board, because condo law follows corporate law, I would assume that it would be as illegal as tax evasion, cooking the books and/or misleading the share holders

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

Sounds like it's time to retain a lawyer.

Asker

Posted

If I could only afford one

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

Check the bylaws for any provisions about condominium monies being used for legal fees. You can also search online for legal services at little to no cost on the MA bar association website or masslegalhelp find a lawyer.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

Some attorneys also do contingency fee cases.

Posted

You need to have an attorney review the rules to determine what the correct procedure should have been in this regards.

Asker

Posted

The associations by-laws gives rules on how to vote out current leadership and vote in new, but since they didn't think they could swing the vote, they just said my position was invalid

Posted

The condo docs will dictate how boards are elected. Sounds as if you haven't even had an annual meeting and election in a while, and many condo docs will say officers continue in office until their successor is elected. The other owners cannot just "elect" a board. The rules for calling a special meeting of the unit owners that is set forth in your documents has to be followed. Best that you get such a meeting set up an conduct an interim election until the next annual meeting as both sides here are creating a lot of legal limbo that could cause problems.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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