Artus v. Gramercy Towers Condominium AssociationAnnotate this Case
The 260-unit San Francisco condominium property is subject to the Davis-Stirling Common Interests Development Act, Civ. Code, 4000. Artus, a J.D., Ph.D., owns three condominiums. The homeowner’s association (HOA) is governed by a board, previously elected by cumulative voting: a member would receive a number of votes equal to the total number of directors to be elected and could cast all her ballots for one candidate. Artus was elected to the board three times. The HOA voted by a substantial majority to eliminate cumulative voting. Artus sued, citing the Act, and obtained preliminary injunctive relief, preventing a board election under the new, direct vote rule. In the meantime, the HOA held another election and again approved direct voting by a substantial margin. Finding that the second election addressed “whatever valid objections [Artus] may have had” and the HOA had made good faith efforts to comply with the law, the court denied relief after trial. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting Artus’ claim for statutory fees and costs. Neither the Davis-Stirling Act nor the legislative history of the fee provision at issue evidences any intent to depart from well-established principles that fees and costs are ordinarily not granted for interim success.