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Lakeside Road Improvement Corporation v. Adair

A-1994-00T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2002) (Unpublished)

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS; LIENS— Unless a statute provides express authority, a property owner’s association does not have the right to file a pre-judgment lien against a member’s property.

A non-profit corporation created to care for the roadways in a private residential development, “without a prior contractual assent, assesses an annual fee to each homeowner to fund the costs of maintenance and upkeep.” Typically, the corporation instituted actions to collect outstanding unpaid assessments. Here, it sought “a judgment creating an automatic lien on the delinquent owners’ properties for the delinquencies.” The lower court entered the money judgments, but denied the application for the creation of liens. Both the lower court and the Appellate Division found no authority for the creation of such a lien even if the unpaid assessments are imposed reasonably and in accordance with the corporation’s by-laws.

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