—Concerned in Clifton
“That being said, it is important that the annual meeting be held at a date not too far from the originally scheduled date so that association business can be conducted, including the all-important election of members to the association’s Board of Trustees. The association’s documents, most prevalently in the bylaws, set forth the method and manner of calling meetings of unit owners. In fact, such a provision is required to be contained in the bylaws by both the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, at N.J.S.A. 45:22A-46(b), and by the New Jersey Condominium Act, at N.J.S.A. 46:8B-13(b). The presence of such language in an association’s bylaws does not always translate to the convening of the annual meeting as required. In fact, sometimes an annual meeting is postponed for so long that it runs into the schedule for the subsequent meeting, resulting in expired terms for multiple, if not all, board members at the same time.
“The association’s bylaws should contain a provision for the calling of a special membership meeting, which may require the presentation of a petition reflecting a certain given percentage of those unit owners eligible to vote at the annual meeting. The Board of Trustees usually has a certain period of time in which to respond to the petition, and the special meeting must be scheduled, assuming that all the requirements have been met, within a given period of time after the petition’s presentation. The purpose of the special meeting can include such business as the annual election of the Board of Trustees. Members of the association could also seek a court order to force a special meeting, upon the application of ten percent (10%) of the members entitled to vote.
“If the Board of Trustees does not respond to either member requests to hold the annual meeting or a petition requesting a special meeting, then the New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act provides an additional remedy. That law provides, in N.J.S.A. 15A:15-2, that if the Certificate of Incorporation or bylaws or other applicable law provides that some or all of the trustees are to be elected by the members of the association, then either of those documents may provide that a meeting of the members shall be held at least once every two years. If no such provision is set forth, then the meeting to elect the trustees shall be held annually.
“If the annual or biennial meeting is not held on the date designated, the Board of Trustees must schedule a meeting to be held as soon thereafter as is convenient. If any of the following occur: