Be Careful What You Wish For: Arbitration Is Not Mediation (NJ)

A recent decision by the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court demonstrates the need for precision in defining what method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) an association utilizes or agrees to. Carelessly referring to the ADR procedure as an arbitration can make the ultimate decision binding upon the parties, even if one of the parties had something else in mind.   Read the article……………….

Judge lets NJ seize beach with big dunes

Midway Beach, a small oceanfront community on the Jersey Shore, was barely impacted by Superstorm Sandy, due largely to the large sand dunes its nearly 400 homeowners built and maintained over the decades.  Then, state officials told the community’s condominium association that the government was seizing the beach to make way for protective sand dunes that would be smaller than what was already there. So, the residents went to court.     Read the article…………….

Lakewood’s Eagle Ridge Golf Club: Letters, money pile up against development (NJ)

Just outside of Eve and John McNicholas’ living room window is a rolling green fairway and controversy.  It’s the 27-hole public Eagle Ridge Golf Club, an oasis of open space that has become ground zero in the battle over the township’s rapid growth. The township’s future.  “We loved it until about a year ago,” Eve McNicholas said. “Until all this nonsense started.”  That’s when it was publicly revealed the course had been sold. Months later, developer GDMS Holdings’ proposed a plan for the parcel including 1,800 housing units.    Read the article……………

Can a Condo Association Recover Past-Due Amounts After Owner Files Bankruptcy?

When a condo owner in arrears on assessments declares bankruptcy, a condo association often expresses concern about the effect of the bankruptcy on its ability to collect pre- and post-bankruptcy assessments.  The bankruptcy code states that fees or assessments that become due and payable after filing for bankruptcy protection are exempt from discharge. Any amounts owed prior to the filing the bankruptcy case are included in the discharge but may be reduced to liens against the property.   Read the article……………..

Form Said ‘Mediation,’ But It Was Arbitration, Court Rules

An attempt to overturn an arbitration award based on one side’s claim that it believed it was engaged in mediation, not binding arbitration—an “unusual circumstance,” as the court put it—has failed.  “With the exception of the retired judge’s mistake in having the parties execute a document memorializing the terms of a ‘civil mediation,’ there is no doubt that the parties agreed to and in fact participated in binding arbitration,” the Appellate Division said Nov. 16 in Marano v. The Hills Highlands Master Association.    Read the article……………..

Homeowner Association Not Bound by Buyers’ Arbitration Agreement With Builder

Claims by a homeowner association against a developer are not subject to arbitration agreements between the developer and individual homeowners, where the claims are pressed on the association’s own behalf, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Thursday in a published decision.  The appeals court set aside an order by a Superior Court judge compelling arbitration in a suit against U.S. Home Corp. by the Greenbriar Oceanaire Community Association. A motion judge compelled arbitration of all disputes in the case on finding that the suit was brought on behalf of the homeowners. The judge rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the claims should be viewed as belonging to the association, which never agreed to arbitrate disputes with U.S. Home.     Read the article……………

Condo complex spending $7M to stay competitive (NJ)

The view of Manhattan from Gregory Commons’ perch on the Palisades is one of the things that made the 177-unit condominium complex attractive to buyers when it opened 29 years ago.  But the wear and tear of time combined with the construction of thousands of new condominiums in Hoboken and Jersey City since then have made Gregory Commons less appealing to condo shoppers in today’s market, according to its board.    Read the article…………….

New Jersey Court: Continuous Trigger Ends When Nature of Damage Is Known

Last week, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a decision that may have a significant impact on insurance coverage for progressive property damage claims in the state. In Air Master & Cooling, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., No. A-5415-15T3, 2017 WL 4507547 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Oct. 10, 2017), the court first confirmed that a “continuous trigger” applies to third-party construction defect claims. A continuous trigger requires multiple successive insurers on the risk from the date of exposure through manifestation to cover a loss.     Read the article…………

Jersey Shore condo group is latest to push back against dune plans (NJ)

Trying to beat back the state’s ongoing push for a continuous dune along New Jersey’s Atlantic coastline, a condominium association outside of Island Beach State Park is suing to stop the massive dune project there.  In court documents filed Friday in Superior Court, members of the Midway Beach Condominium Association say they shouldn’t be forced to give up part of their oceanfront property for the beach protection work because their existing dunes are better than what’s planned for the area.     Read the article……………….