Bill No.                19-13                        

Concerning: Common Ownership Communities – Administrative Hearing – Attorney’s Fees     

Revised: October 22, 2013 Draft No. 4  

Introduced:      June 18, 2013                

Enacted:         October 22, 2013           

Executive:       November 4, 2013          

Effective:        February 3, 2014            

Sunset Date:  September 1, 2016         

Ch.      29  , Laws of Mont. Co.    2013    


County Council

For Montgomery County, Maryland


By: Councilmember Leventhal


AN ACT to:

(1)        [[expand]] modify the authority of the Commission on Common Ownership Communities to award attorney’s fees to a [[prevailing]] party in certain disputes; and

(2)        generally amend the law governing common ownership communities.


By amending

            Montgomery County Code

            Chapter 10B, Common Ownership Communities

            Section 10B-13



Boldface                                             Heading or defined term.

Underlining                                          Added to existing law by original bill.

[Single boldface brackets]                  Deleted from existing law by original bill.

Double underlining                              Added by amendment.

[[Double boldface brackets]]              Deleted from existing law or the bill by amendment.

*   *   *                                                  Existing law unaffected by bill.








The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:

          Sec. 1.  Section 10B-13 is amended as follows:

10B-13.      Administrative hearing.

*                 *                 *

(d)     The hearing panel may award costs, including [a] reasonable attorney's [fee] fees, to [[any prevailing party if]] any party if the other party:

(1)     [another] [[any party if the]] [[losing]] [[other party:]]

[(1)] [[(A)]] filed or maintained a frivolous dispute, or filed or maintained a dispute in [other than good] bad faith;

(2)     [(2)] [[(B)]] unreasonably refused to [accept] participate in mediation of a dispute, or unreasonably withdrew from ongoing mediation; or

(3)     [(3)] [[(C)]] substantially delayed or hindered the dispute resolution process without good cause[.] [[; or

(2)]]   [The hearing panel may also award costs or attorney's fees if] [[an association document so requires and the award is reasonable under the circumstances; or

(3)     the]] [[to a prevailing party]] [[is an owner or occupant of a dwelling unit]] [[who filed the dispute to enforce the association documents or a State or County law regulating common ownership communities]].

The hearing panel may also require the losing party in a dispute to pay all or part of the filing fee.

*                 *                 *

          Sec. 2.  The Amendments to Section 10B-13 contained in Section 1 of this Act apply to any dispute filed with the Commission after the date this Act takes effect.

          Sec. 3.  The Amendments to Section 10B-13 contained in Section 1 of this Act expire on September 1, 2016.