Common Interest Communities
Statutes of Limitations
This case involved the interpretation of the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership. Appellant cooperative owned and operated a common interest community in Richfield. The community was registered under the Act in 2004. The cooperative alleged that the original community included respondent, but that the parties believed respondent was severed from the community later in 2004. Both parties have operated under the assumption that respondent was not a part of the community since 2004. Following a multi-million-dollar repair project, appellant sought financial contributions from respondent for the repairs. Respondent refused because it believed its property interest had been severed from the community. Upon a review of the history of the community, appellant realized that no documentation existed showing that respondent was severed in accordance with the requirements of the Act. The parties each brought actions for declaratory judgment seeking a decision on whether respondent was required to contribute to the repair project and filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Respondent pointed to an amended declaration recorded in 2007 as reflecting that they were not members of the community and were not responsible for any contributions. Appellant, in contrast, argued that respondent had still never been properly severed from the community, and thus respondent was still part of the community. The District Court and Court of Appeals both concluded that a statute of limitations contained within the Act, which provides that “[n]o action to challenge the validity of an amendment or a supplemental declaration may be brought more than two years after the amendment or supplemental declaration is recorded,” applied to bar appellant’s claims.
The Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations contained in the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act, Minn. Stat. § 515B.2-118, for challenging the validity of an amendment or a supplemental declaration does not bar an action that does not challenge the underlying validity of an amended declaration, but instead broadly challenges whether severance occurred. Reversed and remanded.