D’Annunzio v. Wharfside Manor Condominium Association

A-4449-95T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 1997) (Unpublished)
  • Opinion Date: January 3, 1997

CONDOMINIUMS; FINES—The New Jersey legislature overruled a court decision that limited condominium associations’ rights to impose fines. This case deals with what happens to those cases that may not have been “judicially determined” when the corrective legislation took effect.

Defendant fined plaintiff for violating certain parts of the condominium’s by-laws. Plaintiff sued in the Special Civil Part of Monmouth County and was awarded $1,075.00 plus court costs. Defendant appealed claiming the trial judge relied erroneously on Walker v. Briarwood Condo Association, 274 N.J.Super. 422 (App. Div. 1994), which held that a condominium association’s by-laws must authorize fines or liens in order for the association to enforce them. The by-laws of the defendant provide for fines. As of July, 1996, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-15 permits a condominium association to impose “reasonable fines” for failure to comply with the master deed, by-laws, or rules and regulations of the condominium. This section is retroactive to condominium documents adopted prior to July, 1996, unless a judicial determination on the legality of any fine had been rendered prior to its effective date. The Appellate Court held that even though this case had already been decided by the Special Civil Part, since defendant still had an appeal that was not yet decided, the judgment was to be vacated and remanded for further proceedings.