Use Caution When Posting Minutes on a Community Association Website

by admin on July 9, 2010

in Board of Directors, Management, Operations

Beware of What You Upload to Your Website

As community association websites become the norm for the industry, Boards of Directors and management need to gain guidance from the association attorney on how meeting minutes should be written and handled in order not to cause any potential legal problems for the association.

Most Boards of Directors who maintain community websites want to post minutes of meetings as a means of informing those owners and residents who were unable or did not attend.  It seems an excellent way to keep everyone informed, and when you think of it, it is really no different than posting minutes the “old- fashioned way” on a bulletin board.

Potential problems can arise when minutes are posted that are poorly written and contain defamatory language or personal information about someone.  Many times the recording secretary is told to put into the minutes a “statement” from an owner or Board member “for the record”.  Minutes which contain personal information about an owner during the normal course of association business, may result in “privacy issues” and could provide an individual ammunition to claim damages. 

Generally, if there is one repeated problem with meeting minutes it is that there is too much information recorded.  The meeting minutes are an official record of the actions and business of the association.  Motions, seconds and votes are recorded.  Officer and Committee reports are recorded or attached to the minutes.  Statements, opinions and personal information are unnecessary and these are not a part of the proceedings as there was “no action taken”. 

In addition to meeting minutes being posted on the website, attorney opinions, collection information, pictures and recorded documents all contain potential liability issues if posted improperly.  Have your association attorney guide your association on what type of information can cause potential legal problems when posted to a community association website. 

Though the internet is revolutionizing and transforming the community association management industry, it is creating new liability and legal issues as well.  The next time your webmaster posts information on your community website, have them beware and use common sense, as it is a record that can never be taken back!

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November 1, 2014 at 7:49 am

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