Internal Dispute Resolution (lDR) Process
By law, Associations must provide a "fair, reasonable and expeditious" procedure for resolving disputes between the association and its members without charging a fee to the member participating in the process. The process is referred to as "Internal Disputes Resolution" (IDR) or "Meet and Confer".
Associations must notify their members annually in writing of both ADR and IDR dispute resolution procedures.
If an association does not establish its own procedures, the following procedures I automatically apply by law:
- A member or the association may request the other party to meet and confer in an effort to resolve a dispute. The request must be in writing.
- A member of an association may refuse a request to meet and confer. The association may not refuse a request to meet and confer.
- The board shall designate a director or directors to meet and confer with the member.
- The parties shall meet promptly at a mutually convenient time and place, explain their positions to each other, and confer in good faith in an effort to resolve the dispute. The parties may be assisted by an attorney or another person at their cost when conferring.
- A resolution of the dispute agreed to by the parties shall be memorialized in writing and signed by the parties, including the board designee on behalf of the association.
- Any agreement resolving the dispute must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement cannot conflict with the law or governing documents and must be within the authority of the board.
- There is no appeals procedure set forth in the Davis-Stirling Act for penalties imposed by an association against a member for violation of the rules and regulations. However, the IDR process set forth above can be used to appeal a decision since a meet and confer is mandatory if requested by a member. When it comes to ADR (mediations and arbitrations), the association has no obligation to accept a request for ADR. If, however, the member is planning to sue the association, the member may be obligated to request ADR before filling suit, at which point the association is advised to accept the request for ADR.