I write this blog in response to a question from one of my readers, a current association board treasurer and secretary who read my previous post about recorded meetings.
Scenario: The association holds an open meeting. The secretary (or any other person acting on behalf of the board) records the meeting for the purpose of the secretary being able to write more complete and accurate meeting minutes. The secretary then destroys the recording. Is that proper?
Associations are not required to record their meetings. Therefore, associations are not required to keep recordings of their meetings. So, associations are free to discard the recordings UNLESS the association has notice of potential for future litigation and the recordings are relevant to that litigation.
For example, a homeowner informs the board of his or her intent to sue the association for acts discussed during the recorded meeting. If the association destroys the recording, in a subsequent lawsuit by that owner, the association may be accused of spoliation to its disadvantage. The doctrine of spoliation provides that jurors may infer that the recording was destroyed because it contained evidence harmful to the association’s case.
So, if there is a recording somewhere (or any other piece of evidence), and you know it is relevant to potential, future litigation, think twice before getting rid of it.