Unruly board meetings a problem?

The below Q&A can be found in the Las Vegas Review Journal.  Barbara Holland answers a question about unruly meetings.  Barbara is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co.

Q: Our homeowners association meetings have turned into a three-ring circus. We have one homeowner, who is apparently mentally unstable, who shows up at board meetings and makes unfounded allegations against the board and the management company and threats against individual board members. Many homeowners have quit attending the meetings because of his disruptive theatrics. Can such an individual be barred from attending future meetings?

A: Many communities have had this problem. Below, I have included what one association added to its community rules to address a similar situation. It states that a homeowner can be suspended from attending board meetings.

Note, before any HOA includes this rule in its regulations, I highly advise you to have your legal counsel review the issue and the language as he or she may wish to make changes or even advise you not to adopt such a rule.

“The board of directors has the right to establish and enforce reasonable limitations and restrictions on the manner in which members of the association may participate in meetings of the association in order to maintain proper decorum during the meetings of the association.

In addition to the restrictions and limitations recognized in Robert’s Rules of Order, the board of directors shall have the right to impose restrictions and/or limitations and fines on members of the association who engage in disruptive behavior during meetings of the association, including but not limited to, speaking out of order, use of profanity, yelling and/or otherwise being loud and boisterous, etc.

“In the event a member of the association engages in such disruptive behavior during a meeting of the association, the member of the association will be issued a warning letter the first time the member engages in such conduct. Should the member engage in such disruptive behavior a second time, the member may be fined and/or suspended from one meeting by the association depending on the nature, severity and flagrancy of the conduct.

Should the member engage in such disruptive behavior a third time, the member may be fined and/or suspended from two or more meetings by the association depending on the nature, severity and flagrancy of the conduct.”

Do you have something to add?  Has your community done something similar?  Let us know if the comments.

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