Saturday, May 29, 2010

Arbitration Clause Not Enforceable On Homeowners' Association

In Villa Vicenza Homeowners Ass'n v. Nobel Court Development, LLC (here), the Court of Appeal held that an arbitration clause recorded in CC&Rs was not enforceable in a suit brought by a homeowners' association against a developer. Because the clause was subject to the Federal Arbitration Act, the court was not bound by the holdings in Grafton Partners v. Superior Court (in which we represented the petitioner), which holds that predispute jury waivers are unenforceable except as specifically authorized by the Legislature, or Treo @ Kettner Homeowners Assn. v. Superior Court, which held that a homeowners association was not bound by a judicial reference agreement contained in CC&Rs. Nevertheless, the court held that both federal law and state law refuse to enforce arbitration clauses against non-signatories, and the homeowners association had never agreed to arbitrate a dispute against the developer.

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