NC Executive Order #141 issued on May 20 (and still in effect as of July 3) currently limits indoor meeting attendance to 10 and outdoor attendance to 25, which makes it rather hard to hold an in-person association membership meeting. By statute, NC nonprofit association boards have long been allowed to meet by telephone conference or video conference, so long as everyone can simultaneously hear everyone else. However, there has been no such statute for association member meetings.
On April 24 the Governor issued Executive Order #136, which allowed for nonprofit membership meetings to be held virtually under certain conditions. Unfortunately, that Executive Order expired on June 23. Our office has been in communication with the Governor’s office about extending that Order and has learned that Executive Order #136 was reissued yesterday (July 2) in new Executive Order #149.
Executive Order #149 extends/renews Executive Order #136 through August 31, 2020. During that time:
- A board can “in its sole discretion” determine that all or any part of a member meeting may be conducted by remote communication and remote balloting.
- Association members may participate in the membership meeting by remote communication.
- Although virtual, members do not vote during the meeting by voice or hand (like at an in-person meeting), but can vote on matters through “action by written ballot,” which can include electronic means, including e-mail, so long as the “electronic transmission … [sets forth or is submitted] with information from which it can be determined that the electronic transmission was authorized by the member or the member’s proxy.”
Remote meetings and “ballots submitted by electronic transmission” can be complicated. For specifics as to your situation or association membership meeting, feel free to contact one of our attorneys. You may also find useful information in this prior article: The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings.
The full Executive Orders can be found at Executive Order #149 and Executive Order #136.
For any HOA/condo meeting advice, contact one of the community association attorneys in the Greensboro, Charlotte, Triangle or Coastal offices of Law Firm Carolinas. Also, both Jim Slaughter and Michael Taliercio are Professional Registered Parliamentarians and members of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers.