Are we required to have a ADR committee?

The Michigan Condominium Act requires that the condominium bylaws contain a section that provides for binding arbitration of disputes if the parties to the dispute consent to arbitration. This is the one Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism that is mandated, but it doesn’t really address ADR issues with any gumption. And no, there is no mandate requiring the formation of an ADR committee in the Michigan Condominium Act.

Some condominium bylaws require the association to arbitrate matters such as noise disputes between co-owners. I have not seen a requirement that an ADR committee be formed to hear such complaints but the board of directors would be acting within its scope of powers to appoint such a committee.

If ADR procedures were mandated would the concept gather more attention among condominium communities? Probably so. But I believe that the practical advantages associated with possible alternatives for dispute resolution are substantial and the concept is worthy of further discussion.
Edward Zelmanski
Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC
Attorneys at Law
44670 Ann Arbor Road, Suite 170
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
(734) 459-0062    Fax: (734) 459-5313

The answer to that questions depends on: a) whether the governing documents for the Association require ADR for particular disputes and/or b) whether the state law contains provisions requiring some form of alternate dispute resolution is explored as a condition precedent to filing a legal action in court. New York’s condominium law contains no such requirement, although other states, such as New jersey, do. Aside from a mandate, many, if not most, states offer ADR programs for co-ops and condos that can be utilized on a voluntary basis to avoid the time and expense that usually accompanies litigation.
Frank Izzo
2649 South Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-6843
T 845-473-8100 F 845-473-8777

I presume that ADR refers to an architectural review committee.  PA law for (condominium or single-home) planned communities does not require that an Association have such a committee. An Association’s governing documents may require it, however.

Sara A. Austin
Austin Law Firm LLC
226 E. Market St.
York, PA 17403
717.846.2246 phone
717.846.2248 fax

Assuming they mean Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, the answer is no.  Indiana Law requires that before an Association can initiate litigation to enforce the covenants, with some exceptions, the Association must go through the statutory Grievance Resolution process.  That process includes the opportunity of the person to meet face to face with the Board.   (The requirements go both ways if an owner wants to sue the Association.)  No separate committee is required to handle these issues.
Thrasher Buschmann & Voelkel PC
Stephen Buschmann
151 N. Delaware St.
Suite 1900
Indianapolis IN 46204-2505
(317) 686-4773
ADR generally refers to a forum for alternative dispute resolution.  It is an attempt to settle disputes outside of the court system.  Sometimes that is performed by independent arbitrator or mediator.  It could refer to an association’s in house committee if the by-laws or other organizational documents so provide.  The writer will need to review the organizational documents of the association in which she is a member.  Otherwise, there is no law currently in New York requiring such a committee.

Lewis Montana
Levine & Montana
1019 Park Street – P.O. Box 668
Peekskill, New York 10566
(914) 737-3515

It really depends upon what your documents say.  If they do not specifically require a separate ADR committee then the Board can act in that capacity.

Mark A. Nappier, Esq
Joye, Nappier, Risher & Hardin LLC
3575 Hwy 17 Business
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

The requirement for condominiums, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:8B-14(k) is to provide a fair and efficient procedure for the resolution of housing-related disputes, as an alternative to litigation.

PREDFDA (Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 45:22A-45(d) is to the same effect, with respect to homeowner and condominium associations.

There is no requirement in the law to have a standing ADR committee, but there may be such a requirement in your Association By-Laws or Master Deed/Declaration.

If there is not, the Association must, when it receives a request for ADR, provide a person or group of persons to  hear the dispute and decide it, or send it to a third party to act as mediator.  CAI has a mediation program, which is excellent, and it also provides training for mediators. CAI’s web site is found at
Griffin Alexander PC
Robert C. Griffin, Esq.
415 Route 10
2nd Floor
Randolph NJ 07869-2100
(973) 366-1188

The determination as to whether or not a community association is required to have an ADR committee is dependent upon what your association’s governing documents require. The simple answer is that if your governing documents do not require an ADR committee, then you are not required to have one under New Jersey law. The New Jersey Condominium Act (“Condominium Act”) only requires a condominium association to “provide a fair and efficient procedure for the resolution of housing-related dispute between individual unit owners and the association, and between unit owners…as an alternative to litigation.” The Condominium Act does not set forth the method by which the alternative dispute resolution shall be provided, other than requiring that a person other than an office of the association, a member of the governing board or a unit owner involved in the dispute be made available to resolve the dispute. Thus, unless your governing documents provide otherwise, the association is free to determine the method of alternative dispute resolution and need not establish an ADR committee.

Martin C. Cabalar

Becker & Poliakoff

1776 on the Green

67 Park Place, Suite 702

Morristown, NJ 07960

Tel:  973.898.6502 

Cell: 973.590.4539 

Fax: 973.898.6506