I previously blogged about the Declaration amendment process and the limitations that CCIOA imposes on the requisite percentage of votes necessary to approve amendments. So, what happens if the association attempts to amend its Declaration and does not obtain a sufficient number of votes to approve the amendment?
Fortunately, CCIOA permits a court amendment process if certain requirements are met. This is often referred to as a ‘Rule 217 petition’ process. Prior to filing a petition with the court, an association must do the following:
(a) The association must send notice of the proposed amendment, at least twice, to all owners entitled to vote on the proposed amendment;
(b) The association must discuss the proposed amendment during at least one meeting of the association; and
(c) The association must obtain at least half of the votes necessary to approve the amendment.
Once the requirements are met, an association can file a petition in district court requesting court approval of the amendment. A hearing date is scheduled within three days after the filing of the petition and must occur between 45-60 days from the filing date of the petition. So long as no more than 33% of the owners entitled to vote on the proposed amendment file written objections to the proposed amendment prior to the hearing (and other technical requirements are met), the amendment should be approved. This is only a summary of the process, so an association should consult with its legal counsel to determine if a court ordered amendment process is proper given a specific set of circumstances and facts.