A September 5, 2017 opinion by a panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals expands the assessment power of associations beyond limits previously set by that court. In Conleys Creek Limited Partnership v. Smokey Mt. Country Club Prop. Owners Ass’n, COA 16-647 (September 5, 2017) the panel dealt with the association’s assessment of dues for a clubhouse owned by the developer. Although acknowledging three prior decisions by other panels of the Court of Appeals holding that an agreement to pay dues for a golf course was a personal covenant between the lot owner and the original developer, this panel of the Court of Appeals greatly expanded the power of associations. The association argued that the Planned Community Act did not
Did you know that information about consumer insurance is available for free from the North Carolina Department of Insurance? This website contains valuable information regarding your auto and vehicle insurance.
Statues of Limitation and Repose…Explained
The terms “Statutes of Limitation” and “Statutes of Repose” are often confused. A statute of limitation limits the amount of time that a claimant has to file suit. Statutes of limitation generally begin to run on the date the cause of action accrues which, in most cases, is the time of an injury or the discovery of an injury to property of a person. They are purely a procedural defense to a claim. Technically speaking, the claim continues to exist but no relief can be obtained once the statute of limitation has expired. Statutes of repose are considered to be more rigid in their application. Time limitations for statutes of repose are usually not measured from the day the cause of action accrues. Instead, they
Lurking in the standard automobile policy used in North Carolina is a trap for the unwary. The standard policy extends coverage to a temporary substitute automobile if the insured vehicle is out of normal use because of its breakdown, repair, servicing, loss, or destruction. However, the temporary substitute automobile cannot be owned by the person operating it as a substitute. In addition, coverage for a temporary substitute automobile has been denied when the covered vehicle was still operable although in very poor condition. If you intend to temporarily use a motor vehicle for convenience while your regular vehicle is otherwise available for normal use, you should contact your insurance agent regarding possible coverage for this temporary vehicle. If you have
Quick Tip – Amendments to Declarations
Amendments to the Declarations of planned communities subject to the Planned Community Act must have the approval of at least 67% of the votes allocated by the Declarations. In most all circumstances, each lot has one vote meaning that there must be “Yes” votes cast by the owners of at 67% of all lots—not just the lots that vote. A lot that fails to vote is the equivalent of a “No” vote.
Court Affirms Lot Owners’ Obligation
In an August 1, 2017 decision, Tanglewood Property Owners’ Ass’n v. Isenhour, et al., the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the duty of a property owner that has the right to use an easement in a subdivision to pay for a share of the cost of maintaining the easement. In this case a voluntary property owners’ association created prior to the Planned Community Act was awarded judgment against a lot owner who claimed that he did not use all of the roadway easement in a subdivision and was not a member of the association. The Court’s opinion restated the principle that the obligation to contribute to road maintenance can be calculated on a pro rata (per lot) basis without
Quick Tip – Problem with a bear? Call for help!
If you have a problem with nuisance or dangerous bear, call the N.C. Wildlife Helpline, a service of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Do not attempt to trap or to kill a bear on your own. In addition to possible physical injury or death, you could face serious legal trouble for violating various federal or state wildlife regulations.
An Ounce of Prevention Helps Avoid Bear Encounters
The best way to prevent problems with bears is to avoid unintentionally feeding them. Secure bags of trash inside cans stored in a garage, basement, or other secure area. Place trash outside, as late as possible, or trash pick-up days – not the night before. Keep all garbage sites clean. If a bear is in the area, remove bird or hummingbird feeders, even if they’re advertised as “bear proof”. Avoid “free-feeding” pets outdoors. Do not leave pet food out overnight. If you must feed pets outdoors, make sure all food is consumed and empty bowls are removed. Clean all food and grease from your grill or outdoor kitchen after each use. Bears are attracted to food odors and may investigate.
What If…A Bear Totaled My Car?
Damage to Your Automobile Yes. There’s insurance for that. Make sure your automobile insurance includes this relatively inexpensive type of coverage. Your deductible can be as low as Zero Dollars ($0), and will provide coverage for a number of scenarios, including: missiles or falling objects; fire; theft or larceny; explosion or earthquake; windstorm; hail, water or flood; malicious mischief or vandalism; riot or civil commotion; contact with a bird or animal; or breakage of glass. (Read more on auto coverage in the NC Department of Insurance Consumer Guide here.) While the missiles, explosions, or riots are uncommon here in WNC, we do have an abundance of wildlife who would just love to eat that leftover granola bar in your front
Arbitration versus Mediation
Arbitration and mediation have become more common in recent years. The inclusion of one-sided arbitration clauses in consumer agreements with large businesses has taken away the ability of consumers to obtain legal relief in courts. North Carolina’s requirement that all civil cases in Superior Court be mediated prior to trial has successfully reduced the number of cases going to trial and has shortened the time to conclude these cases. Arbitration and mediation both involve settlement of disputes but are different in one important way. The arbitration process requires a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators to hear evidence from the parties and reach a decision that is enforceable just like a judgment obtained in a trial. On the other