The condominium owner (CO) filed a complaint challenging the practice of the condominium association (CA) in holding closed meetings without explaining the reasons they were closed, and also challenging the CA's refusal to allow him access to the minutes of certain closed meetings.
The evidence at the hearing showed that the CA did hold closed meetings; that it failed to give advance notice of at least one of the closed meetings (the most recent one); and that in the minutes of the next meeting there was no explanation of why the previous meeting had been closed. The CA also refused to give the CO minutes of its closed meetings.
The hearing panel noted that Section 11-109.1 of the Maryland Condominium Act required the CO to state the time, place and purpose of every closed meeting, the vote of each board member on the motion to close the meeting, and the legal authority under which the meeting was closed, and to report this information in the minutes of the next meeting, and held that the CA had violated this law. However, the panel further held, after an extended discussion, that although the CA must keep minutes of its closed meetings under that law, those minutes are confidential and do not have to be made available to the membership under Section 11-116 of the Maryland Condominium Act. Therefore the CA did not violate any law by refusing to give the CO access to such records.
The hearing panel ordered the CA to review its records for the past 3 years to determine whether it fully complied with Section 11-109.1 when it held closed meetings, and if it found that it had not given the required disclosures about such meetings, it must give those disclosures within 60 days. The panel further ordered that if any meeting was closed for a reason not permitted by that law, then the CA must release the minutes for that meeting. Finally, the panel ordered the CA to comply strictly with Section 11-109.1 in the future.