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N.J. Court Sides with CAI; Protects Condo Assessment Income, 01/03/2000

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  • dale@xxxxxxx.xxx
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE N.J. Court Sides with CAI; Protects Condo Assessment Income FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Erin Fuller Tel: (703) 548-8600, ext. 328
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2000
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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      N.J. Court Sides with CAI; Protects Condo Assessment Income

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Erin Fuller
      Tel: (703)
      548-8600, ext. 328


      N.J. COURT SIDES WITH CAI;
      PROTECTS CONDO ASSESSMENT INCOME

      ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 3 � Agreeing that that a unit owner in a condominium
      may not withhold common expense fees even when the owner alleges that the
      association failed to provide essential services, the Superior Court of New
      Jersey Appellate Division affirmed Judge Barbara Zucker-Zarett�s 1998 decision
      in the matter of Ledgewood Village Condominium Association Inc., v. William
      Lowe. The Community Associations Institute filed a �friend of the court� brief
      in the appeal, arguing that the obligation to pay condominium common area
      charges constitutes an independent covenant which is not subject to offset,
      conceptually akin to the right of a municipality to levy and collect real estate
      taxes.

      �This decision reaffirms that assessments are the life-blood of community
      associations,� said J. David Ramsey Esq., one of the authors of the brief on
      behalf of CAI. �Just as a taxpayer may not withhold tax payments because of
      alleged claims against the government or dissatisfaction with services provided,
      a condominium unit owner likewise may not withhold payment to the association.
      Any other decision would not only be in conflict with the majority of decisions
      from other jurisdictions on this issue, it would also have a devastating effect
      upon countless condominium associations that rely completely on the payment of
      common area charges for their very survival.�

      Ledgewood Village Condominium Association Inc. sued William Lowe for
      post-bankruptcy petition assessments due and owing from October 1991 through
      June 1994, the date on which the property owned by Mr. Lowe was foreclosed.

      In March 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey found that the association
      provided services to Mr. Lowe and that he did not pay his monthly assessments
      and awarded the association maintenance fees, late fees and counsel fees. The
      appellate decision, delivered November 8, 1999, stated the �the trial judge�s
      findings and conclusions are supported by substantial credible evidence in the
      record�� and reaffirmed the amount awarded to the association.

      CAI amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs, one aspect of CAI�s
      overall government and public affairs efforts, are filed in federal or state
      cases that pose questions of significant importance in community association
      law.

      The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973
      to educate and represent the nation�s 205,000 community associations �
      condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members
      include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service
      providers.

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      48122199




      Media Contact: Erin Fuller
      703/548-8600, ext. 328
      Fax: 703/836-6907
      E-mail: EFuller@...

      All Other Inquiries: CAI Central
      703/548-8600
      Fax: 703/837-9490
      E-mail: caicentral@...

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      48122199
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