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Alternative Dispute Resolution


SECTION 5925-5965

5925.  As used in this article:
   (a) "Alternative dispute resolution" means mediation, arbitration,
conciliation, or other nonjudicial procedure that involves a neutral
party in the decisionmaking process. The form of alternative dispute
resolution chosen pursuant to this article may be binding or
nonbinding, with the voluntary consent of the parties.
   (b) "Enforcement action" means a civil action or proceeding, other
than a cross-complaint, for any of the following purposes:
   (1) Enforcement of this act.
   (2) Enforcement of the Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law
(Part 3 (commencing with Section 7110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of
the Corporations Code).
   (3) Enforcement of the governing documents.

5930.  (a) An association or a member may not file an enforcement
action in the superior court unless the parties have endeavored to
submit their dispute to alternative dispute resolution pursuant to
this article.
   (b) This section applies only to an enforcement action that is
solely for declaratory, injunctive, or writ relief, or for that
relief in conjunction with a claim for monetary damages not in excess
of the jurisdictional limits stated in Sections 116.220 and 116.221
of the Code of Civil Procedure.
   (c) This section does not apply to a small claims action.
   (d) Except as otherwise provided by law, this section does not
apply to an assessment dispute.

5935.  (a) Any party to a dispute may initiate the process required
by Section 5930 by serving on all other parties to the dispute a
Request for Resolution. The Request for Resolution shall include all
of the following:
   (1) A brief description of the dispute between the parties.
   (2) A request for alternative dispute resolution.
   (3) A notice that the party receiving the Request for Resolution
is required to respond within 30 days of receipt or the request will
be deemed rejected.
   (4) If the party on whom the request is served is the member, a
copy of this article.
   (b) Service of the Request for Resolution shall be by personal
delivery, first-class mail, express mail, facsimile transmission, or
other means reasonably calculated to provide the party on whom the
request is served actual notice of the request.
   (c) A party on whom a Request for Resolution is served has 30 days
following service to accept or reject the request. If a party does
not accept the request within that period, the request is deemed
rejected by the party.

5940.  (a) If the party on whom a Request for Resolution is served
accepts the request, the parties shall complete the alternative
dispute resolution within 90 days after the party initiating the
request receives the acceptance, unless this period is extended by
written stipulation signed by both parties.
   (b) Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division 9 of the
Evidence Code applies to any form of alternative dispute resolution
initiated by a Request for Resolution under this article, other than
   (c) The costs of the alternative dispute resolution shall be borne
by the parties.

5945.  If a Request for Resolution is served before the end of the
applicable time limitation for commencing an enforcement action, the
time limitation is tolled during the following periods:
   (a) The period provided in Section 5935 for response to a Request
for Resolution.
   (b) If the Request for Resolution is accepted, the period provided
by Section 5940 for completion of alternative dispute resolution,
including any extension of time stipulated to by the parties pursuant
to Section 5940.

5950.  (a) At the time of commencement of an enforcement action, the
party commencing the action shall file with the initial pleading a
certificate stating that one or more of the following conditions are
   (1) Alternative dispute resolution has been completed in
compliance with this article.
   (2) One of the other parties to the dispute did not accept the
terms offered for alternative dispute resolution.
   (3) Preliminary or temporary injunctive relief is necessary.
   (b) Failure to file a certificate pursuant to subdivision (a) is
grounds for a demurrer or a motion to strike unless the court finds
that dismissal of the action for failure to comply with this article
would result in substantial prejudice to one of the parties.

5955.  (a) After an enforcement action is commenced, on written
stipulation of the parties, the matter may be referred to alternative
dispute resolution. The referred action is stayed. During the stay,
the action is not subject to the rules implementing subdivision (c)
of Section 68603 of the Government Code.
   (b) The costs of the alternative dispute resolution shall be borne
by the parties.

5960.  In an enforcement action in which attorney's fees and costs
may be awarded, the court, in determining the amount of the award,
may consider whether a party's refusal to participate in alternative
dispute resolution before commencement of the action was reasonable.

5965.  (a) An association shall annually provide its members a
summary of the provisions of this article that specifically
references this article. The summary shall include the following
   "Failure of a member of the association to comply with the
alternative dispute resolution requirements of Section 5930 of the
Civil Code may result in the loss of the member's right to sue the
association or another member of the association regarding
enforcement of the governing documents or the applicable law."
   (b) The summary shall be included in the annual policy statement
prepared pursuant to Section 5310.

SECTION 5975-5985

5975.  (a) The covenants and restrictions in the declaration shall
be enforceable equitable servitudes, unless unreasonable, and shall
inure to the benefit of and bind all owners of separate interests in
the development. Unless the declaration states otherwise, these
servitudes may be enforced by any owner of a separate interest or by
the association, or by both.
   (b) A governing document other than the declaration may be
enforced by the association against an owner of a separate interest
or by an owner of a separate interest against the association.
   (c) In an action to enforce the governing documents, the
prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and

5980.  An association has standing to institute, defend, settle, or
intervene in litigation, arbitration, mediation, or administrative
proceedings in its own name as the real party in interest and without
joining with it the members, in matters pertaining to the following:
   (a) Enforcement of the governing documents.
   (b) Damage to the common area.
   (c) Damage to a separate interest that the association is
obligated to maintain or repair.
   (d) Damage to a separate interest that arises out of, or is
integrally related to, damage to the common area or a separate
interest that the association is obligated to maintain or repair.

5985.  (a) In an action maintained by an association pursuant to
subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 5980, the amount of damages
recovered by the association shall be reduced by the amount of
damages allocated to the association or its managing agents in direct
proportion to their percentage of fault based upon principles of
comparative fault. The comparative fault of the association or its
managing agents may be raised by way of defense, but shall not be the
basis for a cross-action or separate action against the association
or its managing agents for contribution or implied indemnity, where
the only damage was sustained by the association or its members. It
is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this subdivision to
require that comparative fault be pleaded as an affirmative defense,
rather than a separate cause of action, where the only damage was
sustained by the association or its members.
   (b) In an action involving damages described in subdivision (b),
(c), or (d) of Section 5980, the defendant or cross-defendant may
allege and prove the comparative fault of the association or its
managing agents as a setoff to the liability of the defendant or
cross-defendant even if the association is not a party to the
litigation or is no longer a party whether by reason of settlement,
dismissal, or otherwise.
   (c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) apply to actions commenced on or
after January 1, 1993.
   (d) Nothing in this section affects a person's liability under
Section 1431, or the liability of the association or its managing
agent for an act or omission that causes damages to another.

1452 W. 9th Street # 3  Upland, CA 91786

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