Board of Managers of a Condominium Needs Authorization to Commence a Lawsuit Through a Vote of the Board of Managers at a Regularly Scheduled or Special Meeting of the Board

In New York State, a condominium board of managers needs authorization to bring a legal action against a defendant by calling a special meeting of the board or taking the issue up at a regularly scheduled meeting of the board. The failure to comply with the procedures contained in the by-laws for calling a meeting and taking a vote on the issue of whether to bring an action against a defendant will result in a dismissal of the action according to New York State case law. The case law states that while the by-laws of the condominium may not specifically require authorization at a board meeting in order to commence a lawsuit, and nothing contained in the by-laws or condominium offering plan expressly require plaintiff/condominium to specifically notice a meeting or hold a vote authorizing or passing a resolution in order for the plaintiff/condominium board to commence a lawsuit, the New York State courts have held that some form of vote is clearly required in order for the board to commence an action. While the board may have the right to maintain an action against a defendant, (called "standing") in the absence of any indication that the board met at a regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting to authorize commencement of said action, the courts are inclined to state that the plaintiff/board of managers lacked the capacity to sue at the time the action was filed and will dismiss the action.

There is also New York State case law which states that a notice that is sent by an officer of the board by email to notify board members that a special meeting of the board is being called, will not be a valid notice where the by-laws state that the notice must be sent indicating the time, place and purpose of the meeting by mail, telegraph, telefax or telephone. If email is not considered one of the forms of communications delineated as an acceptable form of notice in the by-laws or declaration of the condominium, any action taken at that meeting noticed by email will be considered invalid.