Poetic Justice: Medford Lakes Colony Club v. Maida

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Architectural Controls, Assessments, Legal Decisions

On March 2, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division decided the case of Medford Lakes Colony Club v. Maida, which dealt with unpaid assessments and the authority to remove a dock on association property. While the decision is unpublished (and does not constitute precedent), it made enough of an impression for Jonathan H. Katz to pen this brief write up:

In Medford a Club owned a lake,

Fees for its upkeep members make.

 

Docks on the lake were permitted,

As long as such fees were remitted.

 

Ms. Maida refused to pay fees,

Despite the Club’s numerous pleas.

 

So after the passage of time,

The Club removed the dock on Maida’s dime.

 

Maida objected but the Judge she directed,

The Club could remove the dock Maida erected.

 

So the moral of the story is not lost,

If you don’t pay your case will get tossed,

You’ll get dragged into Court,

For breach of contract or tort,

And you may have to pay all the cost.

You can read the Appellate Division’s much less poetic decision in Medford Lakes Colony Club v. Maida by clicking here.

For more information on this case or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.

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NJ Supreme Court Decision Paves the Way for Condominium Associations in Transition to Recover Damages against the Developer and Subcontractors

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Construction Defect, Insurance, Legal Decisions

On August 4, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, et al., which held that faulty workmanship by a subcontractor that causes property damage is a covered loss under the developer’s/general contractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. The ruling holds that this consequential damage constitutes an “occurrence” under the CGL policy and, as such, may allow community associations to recover for water infiltration and other defective construction.

In this case, Cypress Point Condominium Association instituted transition litigation against the project’s developer/general contractor for water leaks and other construction defects, which caused damage to the units and common property. The developer’s insurance company argued that the Association’s claims were not covered under the various CGL policies obtained by the developer because the alleged faulty workmanship by the developer’s subcontractors did not amount to an “occurrence” and that the resulting damages did not constitute “property damage” under the policies.

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In re Rones: A Debtor Cannot “Strip Off” or “Cram-Down” a Condominium Lien as Part of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Action

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Bankruptcy, Collections, Legal Decisions

By: Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

The District Court recently delivered a rare win for condominium associations throughout New Jersey dealing with bankruptcy actions filed by their residents. The Court reversed a 2015 decision that allowed debtors filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions to “strip off” or “cram down” an association’s lien, which in most cases resulted in that the association only receiving six (6) months of assessments and having to write off as bad debt all of the remaining unpaid amounts.

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Statute of Limitations in Association Construction Defect Cases Tolled until Transition from Developer Control

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Construction Defect, Legal Decisions

By: Christopher R. Geary, Esq.

On February 1, 2016, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished decision in The Palisades at Fort Lee Condominium Association, Inc. v. 100 Old Palisade, LLC, et al, (Docket No. A-4292-13T3). In Palisades, the Court reversed the Trial Court’s determination that the six (6) year statute of limitations on construction defects begins to run when the work is substantially complete. Rather, the Court held that the time period for a condominium association to bring claims against contractors who performed work on the association’s common property does not begin to accrue until control of the association is turned over to the owners by the developer.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Grants Review of Cypress Point Condominium Association Decision

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Construction Defect, Legal Decisions

By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

On October 29, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification (meaning that the Court will hear the appeal) of the Appellate Court’s decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC. Specifically, the question certified for review by the Supreme Court is: “In this dispute regarding insurance coverage under a general contractor’s commercial general liability policy, do these damages constitute ‘property damage’ and an ‘occurrence’ where subcontractors’ defective work caused consequential damages to the common areas of a condominium complex and to the unit owners’ property?”

As discussed in a previous blog post, the Appellate Division held that the Insurance Service Office (ISO) 1986 standard commercial general liability insurance policy does not bar coverage to developers in association construction defects cases alleging consequential damages based upon poor workmanship by subcontractors. The Court concluded that consequential damages caused by a subcontractor’s defective work, presumably unintended and unexpected, constitute “property damage” and “occurrence” under the ISO 1986 policy. Therefore, in a condominium association’s lawsuit against a developer for defective construction resulting in consequential damages, the developer’s insurer may have a duty to defend the developer and indemnify the developer against such claims.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Distinguishes Luchejko and Holds Community Association Is Not Immune from Liability for Failure to Clear Ice and Snow from Private Sidewalks

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Insurance, Legal Decisions, Safety

By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

On August 12, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision in Qian v. Toll Brothers Inc., which determined that community associations are not entitled to immunity from claims of personal injury sustained on private sidewalks that comprise part of an association’s common property. In deciding Qian, the Court made clear that its 2011 decision in Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, which held that associations were immune from liability for the failure to adequately clear snow and ice from a public sidewalks, does not apply in the context of an association’s private, common property. Although the result is not surprising based on the long-standing common law concerning tort liability, it does clarify the distinction between the potential liability of a community associations for private versus public sidewalks.

As discussed in a previous blog post, in Qian a resident in an adult residential community was injured after a slip and fall on ice following a winter storm. Qian sued the association, its developer (who controlled the board), its managing agent and the contractor responsible for snow and ice removal. The Trial Court dismissed the claims against the association, developer and managing agent based in part on the decision in Luchejko.

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