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CCOC Decision Summary

#04-13, Helen Jenkins v. Rosewood Residences Condominium (October 25, 2013) (Panel: McCabe, Winegar, Fishbein)

The Complainant filed a dispute with the Commission alleging that she suffered financial loss as a result of the Respondent’s failure to make timely repairs to her rental unit.  The repairs were required to fix damages which were caused by a water leak into the unit from another unit.

After the Commission accepted jurisdiction and set it for a hearing, the Respondent filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, alleging and providing evidentiary support, that the Complainant was neither a resident in, nor an owner of, any unit in Rosewood when she filed the complaint on February 11, 2013, and therefore not a “party” as defined by law. (Editor’s Note – information in the case file shows that Complainant was a tenant until August 2012, at which time she moved out, and a new tenant replaced her by the end of February, 2013).

Section 10B-8(4)(A) of the Montgomery County Code provides that the Commission has jurisdiction over certain types of disputes “between two or more parties.”  Section 10B-8(8) defines “parties” as owners, occupants and governing bodies of common ownership communities.

The panel believed that whether a person qualifies as a “party” within the meaning of Chapter 10B must be determined at the time the person files the complaint.  The panel concluded that Complainant was not a “party” and therefore it has no jurisdiction over her claim.

The panel ORDERED the complaint DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

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