Standard practices for an Illinois condominium board have historically included:

  • Only keeping meeting minutes during open meetings, not during closed/executive sessions.
  • Not providing violators with evidence related to their violations, such as written complaints, video footage, etc.
  • Considering past behavior of the unit owner accused of a violation when levying a fine.

However, the Illinois appellate court has recently made many condominium board standard practices illegal. Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association held that in levying fines against a belligerent unit owner who verbally berated and insulted management and employees, the board had violated his constitutional right to free speech. It was also held that the board breached its fiduciary duty to provide the unit owner with footage of the incidents or any written complaints.

In light of this hearing, it is recommended that associations:

  • Keep minutes of all executive sessions/violation hearings where quorum is present.
  • Be prepared to provide evidence upon request and before levying any fines against a unit owner.
  • Include information on all charges they intend to consider when issuing a violation and/or fine so the accused can adequately defend themselves.

Remember that any fine levied against an owner must be thoroughly documented in order to be legally enforceable.

To read more, click here.

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