A multiyear lawsuit over a fundamental issue of homeowner association property owner’s rights to records inspections reached the New Mexico Supreme Court for review on July 22. I am the plaintiff in the case against the Sierra Los Pinos Property Owners Association board of directors.
The first of its kind in New Mexico, the Homeowner Association Act affects approximately 275,000 New Mexico HOA property owners, and the dispute is over what records can be inspected. The outcome will turn on whether the definition of the word “includes” restricts or does not.
The word “includes” used in the record disclosure section of the statute, from legislative definition, implies that records disclosure is not limited; however, the courts interpret the definition as restrictive. The restrictive interpretation by the courts harms a property owner’s right to examine “one’s own records.” HOA members own the corporation, and the business records are not the private property of the directors.