Brief Fact Summary. After much upset over the holding of religious services by a group of members, Neuman’s included, in a condominium-complex auditorium, the Board held a vote and then amended the rules to state that there will be no holding of religious services in the auditorium.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order to overturn a condominium rule that does not violate any constitutional rights and is not arbitrarily and capriciously enacted the test is reasonableness of the rule. Condominiums have a right to enact rules regulating the use of the units and common areas.
Central to the concept of condominium ownership is the principle that each owner, in exchange for the benefits of association with other owners, must give up a certain degree of freedom of choice which he might otherwise enjoy in separate, privately owned property.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether a condominium restriction banning religious service in the auditorium violates the rule that you can not unreasonably restrict the unit owner’s right to have peaceful assembly.
Held. No. A condominium rule will only be overturned if it violates constitutional rights, is unreasonable, or is arbitrarily and capriciously enacted. The constitutional right in question is peaceful assembly. The appellants argued that the new rule meant they couldn’t even have Christmas parties. The lower Court decided that religious holiday parties should be allowed, but did not agree that the preclusion of services violated any rights. Based on that ruling Grandview amended the rule to allow for holiday parties. The lower Court also held that no state action was involved so the right of religious and freedom of speech were not implicated. This court argues that even if state action was implicated the right to peaceable assembly is historically left to discuss public or governmental issues not religious services. Condominiums are creatures of statute; therefore, condominium rules should be enforced. Due to the nature of a complex where the unit owners live in close proximity to one another, the rules that appease the majority will be upheld.
Discussion. Condominiums are creatures of statutes and should be governed by the rules voted into its declarations. Courts are very reluctant to overturn a rule unless the high threshold of constitutional violations, or unreasonableness has been found.