Nevada law bans dog breed discrimination

Q: I plan to retire in Daytona Beach in three years. A community I like has a pit bull dog restriction in its rules. No other community in the area has this. Can they by law do this? And, if they can, can they enforce it? They allow fences, and my dogs would be in the house and yard-bound.

A: According to Florida state law, section 767.14, local governments can adopt regulations to address the safety and welfare caused by attacks on persons or domestic animals, placing further restrictions or additional requirements on dog owners whose pets have bitten or attacked persons or domestic animals. Local governments can develop procedures and criteria to adopt regulations provided that no such regulation is specific to breed. This section of the law does not apply to any local ordinance that was adopted prior to Oct. 1, 1990.

Daytona Beach is located in Volusia County. Section 14-31 of the Volusia County ordinances does not specifically define pit bulls as a dangerous dog and does not have a BSL ordinance (breed-specific legislation).

I did not find any section in 767 that would prevent a private organization, a homeowners association, from having a covenant restriction as to the breed of dogs nor any restrictions found in Volusia County. My recommendation to you is to further check this restriction with a local attorney in that area prior to signing on the dotted line to purchase a home.

Just as an FYI to our local readers, Nevada became the 14th state to ban dog breed discrimination. Gov. Brian Sandoval signed this legislation May 24, 2013, and it became effective Oct. 1, 2013. The new law does allow local governments to continue passing laws that target dangerous or vicious dogs as long as the laws are free from breed bias.

Q: I have enjoyed your homeowners association articles over the years and used to be on an HOA board years ago where I read Nevada Revised Statutes 116. So, my recall now of the NRS 116 sections is very foggy. Anyhow, I do remember there was a section in NRS 116 that described how residents could remove a sitting board member by filling out a written petition with a certain minimum percentage of residents. How should that written petition be worded? What are the percentages and time frames involved?

A: NRS 116.31036 pertains to the removal of an executive board member. Other than a board member appointed by the community developer, a board member can be removed with or without cause if a “removal election” is held according to this statute.

The number of votes cast in favor of removal must meet two requirements. The first requirement is that 35 percent of the total number of voting members of the association cast their votes. If you have 100 members in your association, at least 35 members must cast their vote, be it in support or not in support of the removal of a director. The second requirement is that at least a majority of the votes cast be in favor of the removal. In the example where 35 members have voted, at least 18 members have voted to remove the director.

A removal election may be called by the unit owners constituting at least 10 percent or any lower percentage specified in the bylaws of the total number of voting members of the association. The unit owners must submit a written petition that is signed by the required percentage and mailed, return receipt requested or served by a process server, to the board or to the community manager.

Written secret ballots are required. The secret ballots must be sent not less than 15 days or more than 60 days after the date on which the petition was received. The board shall set the date for the meeting to open and to count the ballots no more than 15 days after the deadline for returning the ballots and less than 90 days after the date on which the petition was received.

Only secret written ballots returned to the association may be counted to determine the outcome. You cannot vote in any other manner.

Finally, the current members on the board, including those members who are subject to the removal, may not possess, be given access to or participate in the opening or counting of the ballots that are returned to the association before the ballots have been opened and counted at the recall meeting.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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