Can The Spouse of a Condo Board Member Serve in Lieu of the Board Member?

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D.C. from Chicago writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Can the Board Treasurer of our condo send his wife to represent him at a special owners meeting?

Mister Condo replies:

D.C., that is a great question. Your governing documents most likely address who is eligible to attend a special owners meeting. My guess is that either owner is allowed to attend to represent the ownership of the unit. However, if you are asking if the spouse of the Treasurer can attend the meeting and act as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors, the answer is likely “no”, unless the governing documents or state law indicate otherwise. After all, the spouse was not elected to the Board nor was the spouse elected to serve as Treasurer. There is also a question of practicality I would like to ask and that is why is there a special owners meeting being called and what role would the Association Treasurer play in such a meeting? Typically, special owners meetings are only called to replace Board members and have very specialized agendas. If there are tensions between the association and the Board of Directors that have lead to a special owners meeting being called, there may not be a role for the Treasurer to play at that meeting to begin with. As with most items dealing with governance documents, it may be time to get a legal opinion to make sure the rules are being properly observed for the special owners meeting. The attorney could also offer you a legal opinion as to whether any spouse can serve as a Board Member in lieu of the actual Board Member. I hope this all works out for you.

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