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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PORT LIBERTE II CONDOMINIUM ASSOC. V. NEW LIBERTY RESIDENTIAL URBAN RENEWAL CO.

PORT LIBERTE II CONDOMINIUM ASSOC. V. NEW LIBERTY
RESIDENTIAL URBAN RENEWAL CO.
A-2574-11T1;A-3129-11T1(CONSOLIDATED)

Several years into the litigation, the trial court
dismissed a massive construction lawsuit filed by a
condominium association, on the grounds that the
association had filed the lawsuit without first obtaining
the unit owners' approval as required by the by-laws.
Although the unit owners had voted to ratify the filing of
the suit, the trial court reasoned that post-filing
ratification was not permitted. We concluded that was
contrary to well-established case law concerning
ratification. We also reasoned that construing the by-laws
to preclude ratification produced an absurd result,
contrary to the unit owners' interests and to the purpose
of the Condominium Act. We held that defendants – the
developers and builders — had no standing to represent the
interests of the unit owners in enforcement of the by-laws.
Any interest defendants had in avoiding possible
duplicative litigation by unit owners was satisfied when
the unit owners' ratified the association's filing of the
complaint. 01/31/14