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Association Websites and Emerging Technologies. Overview Basic Legal Considerations What do we put on our site (and what do we leave off of it)? Spite.

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Presentation on theme: "Association Websites and Emerging Technologies. Overview Basic Legal Considerations What do we put on our site (and what do we leave off of it)? Spite."— Presentation transcript:

1 Association Websites and Emerging Technologies

2 Overview Basic Legal Considerations What do we put on our site (and what do we leave off of it)? Spite Sites, Impersonators and Board Members in Exile – misuse of websites and ideas for how to deal with it. Truly emerging technologies: Wikis, QR Codes, Translation Tools

3 Basic Legal Considerations Websites are not a substitute for physical meetings… but in the near future are likely to become the generally accepted way to provide notice and conduct Association voting Open Meetings Requirement: ORS and ORS – Chat Rooms, Online Discussions – the “letter of the open meetings requirement and the spirit” Electronic Notices: and ORS – Is website same as “prominent location on property”? ORS /ORS : For other than emergency meetings, notice of board of directors’ meetings shall be posted at a place or places on the property at least three days prior to the meeting or notice shall be provided by a method otherwise reasonably calculated to inform lot owners of such meetings; – Opportunity to “opt out” Electronic Voting – Mail, Facsimile transmission or “posting on a wesbite” all ok – Posting on website “notice of the posting shall be sent to each unit owner and shall contain instruction on obtaining access to the posting”

4 What do we put on our site? Association Records: and ORS – Declaration/CCRs, Bylaws, Plat and amendments thereto (official recorded version) Considerations: – Management hosted site versus self-hosted – Password wall versus no password wall Potentially Controversial Documents – Building Envelope Report – Settlement Agreements – Association Contracts – Financials – Anything discussed in executive session – leave out. Jason’s Realtor Test

5 Spite Sites, Impersonators and Board Members in Exile Websites are visible and easily accessible owners – and thus a powerful means of communication. What do you do when an angry owner uses one against the Association? Impersonators: Some associations have specific names that enjoy trademark protection under the Lanham Act and Anti-Cybersquatting Act, but unless the impersonator is making money off the impersonation, your sole remedy is typically injunctive relief (attorney fees recoverable) Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches Case – Rosenthal is “your designated broker” Spite Sites: Defamation, but that is a hollow remedy because you have to prove (1) that what is said is patently false rather than merely “spin” and (2) actual damages. Association Politics: Outlasting the bad guys, correcting misinformation and simply running the association well.

6 Emerging Technologies in the HOA industry Association Wikis – welcome packets, move-in move out information and association policies QR Codes - building FAQs in the palm of your hand Biometric Building Access Translation Tools Video and Videoconferencing – Youtube: Search “dysfunctional HOA Meeting” for amusement Cloud-Based Storage Social Media

7 Jason L. Grosz, Esq Vial Fotheringham LLP


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