Q & A: Teleconferencing a Meeting?

With video/audio conferencing available, I'm wondering if association meetings can be held via telephone conferencing. I'm wondering if there are any parameters for this, or if there are any legal restrictions. Where can I find the guidelines for meetings held by condominium associations?

—Let’s Go to the Videotape

“In Florida, many of our residents are “snowbirds,” and are only in the state for part of the year,” says Michael E, Chapnick, Esq., an attorney and managing partner at Chapnick Community Association Law, P.A. in Delray Beach. “Because of this fact, and the fact that we live in a society that is highly mobile, the Florida Legislature has provided a means by which condominium association board and committee meetings may be held by telephone conference. Section 718.112(b)(2)5, F.S. (2012) provides that 'If any of the board or committee members meet by telephone conference, those board or committee members may be counted toward obtaining a quorum and may vote by telephone. A telephone speaker must be used so that the conversation of those members may be heard by the board or committee members attending in person as well as by any unit owners present at a meeting.' This section contemplates that at least one board or committee member will be appearing at the meeting in person, and that the others may appear via speakerphone so that anyone attending the meeting in person can hear what is being discussed.

“While there is no comparable provision in the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, the Florida Not for Profit Corporations Act provides at Section 617.0820(4), F.S. that 'Unless the articles of incorporation or the bylaws provide otherwise, the board of directors may permit any or all directors to participate in a regular or special meeting by, or conduct the meeting through the use of, any means of communication by which all directors participating may simultaneously hear each other during the meeting. A director participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.'

“However, that being said, there are presently no similar provisions which would allow a unit owner meeting to be conducted by either telephone or video conference.”

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