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CCOC Decision Summary

#80-06, Fenwick v. ChelseaTowers Condominium (January 18, 2008) (Panel: Dymowski, Gannon, Negro)

The condominium owners (CO) filed several complaints against their condominium association (CA), alleging poor management by the board of directors.

After the Commission accepted jurisdiction of the disputes and set them for a hearing, the parties sent discovery requests to each other pursuant to the Commission's procedural rules.Several disputes arose between the parties over these discovery requests, and the hearing panel held a prehearing conference with the parties to resolve them.As a result of the conference, the panel issued orders requiring both parties to answer certain interrogatories (written questions) and to provide documents.The CA complied with the orders but the CO did not answer the interrogatories.The panel chair granted several extensions of time, but the CO never filed any answers or gave any excuse for not doing so.The CA then moved to dismiss the case as a penalty.

The hearing panel granted the motion and dismissed the complaint without a hearing, but also without prejudice to it being filed in court.The panel noted that the right of prehearing discovery of the facts is an important right under the applicable CountyCode provisions and the executive regulations, that the CO missed not just one but several deadlines, and that the CO gave no legitimate excuse for her failures to obey the rules and the panel's orders.

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