New Jersey HOA held to be bound by state constitution

The New Jersey Supreme Court heard this appeal that included issues of violations of the NJ constitution by the Twin Rivers HOA. The court held,

We reverse the general ruling in respect of the fundamental rights exercises implicated that TRHA was not subject to limitations imposed by the New Jersey Constitution and that the business judgment rule and contractual standards applied. We remand plaintiffs’ claims in counts one, two, and three of the complaint for reconsideration under the proper standard.

This is a solid victory that HOAs cannot operate outside the Constitution by arguing that they are just a simple private agreement among consenting adults, not to be interfered with by the government. In essence, that they are principalities operating with their own, untouchable constitutions.

CAI amicus curiae brief in opposition:

This Court must balance the plaintiff’s claims that focus on their perceived individual “rights” versus the rights and legitimate economic expectations of other homeowners.

In the context of community associations, the unwise extension of constitutional rights to the use of private property by members (as opposed to the public) raises the likelihood that judicial intervention will become the norm,and serve as the preferred mechanism for decision-making,rather than members effectuating change through the democratic process.

Court filings:
The complete opinion (pdf)
appeals brief (pdf)
CAI amicus brief (pdf)
Response to CAI (doc)

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Published in: on February 7, 2006 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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