Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Let Bylaws be Bygones?

Georgia law contemplates emergency circumstances when the normal Bylaws that govern your Association are suspended, but only if you plan ahead!

 Section 14-3-207 of the Georgia Statutes tells us that an emergency exists if a quorum of Directors cannot readily be assembled because of some catastrophic event (i.e. tornado, fire, or gunman). 

Unless your Bylaws say otherwise, the Directors may chose (in advance) to adopt a separate set of Bylaws which go into effect during such an emergency.  Be sure you consult your Association’s legal counsel when putting these together.

 Such temporary regulations would be to address special procedures such as:

(1) How to call a meeting of the Board;

(2) Quorum requirements for the meeting; and

(3) Designation of additional or substitute Directors.

These special Bylaws must be distributed (prior to any emergency) to your membership under the guidelines provided in your normal Bylaws, and remain in effect unless amended or repealed by either the Board or the membership.  In any case these Bylaws are only in effect until an emergency ends. 

Any actions taken by the Board under these special Bylaws are just as binding as under normal circumstances, and no Director or agent of the Association may be held liable as long as actions are taken in good faith. 

Don’t forget this important issue when planning your emergency response (such as evacuation routes) for the community!

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