States have largely prohibited gatherings of individuals, which makes hosting in-person HOA/COA meetings difficult. For greater convenience, HOAs and COAs may consider conducting meetings using remote technology (i.e. Zoom or Skype). Deciding whether to continue hosting meetings in person or temporarily transition to electronic meetings is a decision that will be specific to each association in light of an association’s governing documents and applicable law. Specific to our region, below are brief summaries of the laws in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana on conducting meetings remotely and current restrictions on meeting in person.
Ohio law generally permits boards to hold meetings electronically, provided that each board member can hear and participate in real time. If there is an especially pressing matter and a general consensus of the board members, the board may – in lieu of a meeting – take actions with the unanimous written consent of the members of the board. Under Ohio’s restrictions pertaining to COVID-19, in-person gatherings are limited to 10 individuals and should incorporate social distancing and other hygienic precautions such as wearing of face coverings.
Kentucky law generally permits boards to hold meetings electronically. In so doing, they must ensure members are able to participate and vote in the meeting, that those attending remotely are counted as present, and electronically record votes. Further, boards should carefully consult their governing documents to verify no prohibition on electronic meetings exists. Should a board want to meet in person, beginning May 22 groups of 10 people or fewer may gather. However, the board should follow the protocols issued by the CDC, which include social distancing and wearing cloth face coverings.
Under Indiana law, condominium associations are specifically required to address the method of calling meetings in their bylaws. IC 32-25-8-2(2). Otherwise, Indiana law is generally silent on the issue of electronic meetings, which means the governing documents of both condominium and homeowners’ associations will control on the issue of meetings via electronic means. Currently, in-person gatherings in Indiana are capped at 25, but beginning May 22 (June 1 for Marion, Lake, and Cass Counties) that number increases to 100.
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