Lawsuit Claims Condo Board Misused Common Fees


The directors of a Heritage Hill Road condominium association violated state law by using common fees to effectively expand their own personal patio areas, according to a lawsuit filed last month.

The nine board directors of the Oenoke Association voted in March to fund a privacy fence replacement project “as an excuse to illegally and improperly expand the size” of those patio areas, “thus encroaching onto the Common Elements of the community,” according to an amended complaint filed Nov. 25 in state Superior Court on behalf of a limited liability company that owns multiple units at the condo complex. 

“On or about July 27, 2019 the Oenoke Board of directors was notified of the illegal actions of some of its members identifying those units that were involved in the patio expansion scheme but, the Association has failed and refused to correct the matter or hold the responsible parties accountable,” according to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Captain Jack LLC by attorney Ronald Barba of North Haven-based Bender, Anderson and Barba P.C. 

The suit names the Oenoke Association as well as nine individual board members as defendants, claiming violation of the organization’s own governing documents and state law—including the Common Interest Ownership Act and obligation of good faith. It also claims wrongdoing on the part of individual board members—saying, for example, that the president “used his position of power to expend Association resources for his personal gain and to the detriment of the owners at the Oenoke Condominium.” Another director “[c]oncealed the direct conflict of interest of members of the Oenoke Board of Directors created by their request and participation in the effort to expand their limited common element patio areas.”

The defendants are represented by Stamford-based Winget & Spadafora & Schwartzberg LLP. The firm on Dec. 12 filed a motion seeking to have one defendant dismissed from the suit, citing “lack of personal jurisdiction.” A memo supporting the Motion to Dismiss said the director doesn’t reside at the condo complex.

The plaintiff is seeking attorney’s fees and a court order requiring the defendants to pay for the relocation of the privacy fencing to its original location.

The new lawsuit follows a separate complaint filed in court two years ago claiming that the same board had adopted overly restrictive leasing rules in a way that violates state law as well as the organization’s own governing documents.

The principal of Captain Jack LLC is a New Canaan man, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records.

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