2015 Maryland Code
Title 11 - MARYLAND CONDOMINIUM ACT
§ 11-113 - Dispute settlement mechanism
(a) Application of section. -- Unless the declaration or bylaws state otherwise, the dispute settlement mechanism provided by this section is applicable to complaints or demands formally arising on or after January 1, 1982.
(b) Procedure prior to imposition of sanction for rule violation. -- The council of unit owners or board of directors may not impose a fine, suspend voting, or infringe upon any other rights of a unit owner or other occupant for violations of rules until the following procedure is followed:
(1) Written demand to cease and desist from an alleged violation is served upon the alleged violator specifying:
(i) The alleged violation;
(ii) The action required to abate the violation; and
(iii) A time period, not less than 10 days, during which the violation may be abated without further sanction, if the violation is a continuing one, or a statement that any further violation of the same rule may result in the imposition of sanction after notice and hearing if the violation is not continuing.
(2) Within 12 months of the demand, if the violation continues past the period allowed in the demand for abatement without penalty or if the same rule is violated subsequently, the board serves the alleged violator with written notice of a hearing to be held by the board in session. The notice shall contain:
(i) The nature of the alleged violation;
(ii) The time and place of the hearing, which time may be not less than 10 days from the giving of the notice;
(iii) An invitation to attend the hearing and produce any statement, evidence, and witnesses on his or her behalf; and
(iv) The proposed sanction to be imposed.
(3) A hearing occurs at which the alleged violator has the right to present evidence and present and cross-examine witnesses. The hearing shall be held in executive session pursuant to this notice and shall afford the alleged violator a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Prior to the effectiveness of any sanction hereunder, proof of notice and the invitation to be heard shall be placed in the minutes of the meeting. This proof shall be deemed adequate if a copy of the notice, together with a statement of the date and manner of delivery, is entered by the officer or director who delivered the notice. The notice requirement shall be deemed satisfied if the alleged violator appears at the meeting. The minutes of the meeting shall contain a written statement of the results of the hearing and the sanction, if any, imposed.
(4) A decision pursuant to these procedures shall be appealable to the courts of Maryland.
(c) Liability for damages; injunction. -- If any unit owner fails to comply with this title, the declaration, or bylaws, or a decision rendered pursuant to this section, the unit owner may be sued for damages caused by the failure or for injunctive relief, or both, by the council of unit owners or by any other unit owner. The prevailing party in any such proceeding is entitled to an award for counsel fees as determined by court.
(d) Effect of failure to enforce provisions. -- The failure of the council of unit owners to enforce a provision of this title, the declaration, or bylaws on any occasion is not a waiver of the right to enforce the provision on any other occasion.
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