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Legal

This new third edition has been produced to incorporate new developments that impact how cooperative law is being developed. These new developments are multiple and include a general trend in the harmonization of law, the emergence of international regulations which directly impact enterprises, new regional cooperative legislation and regional framework laws as well as innovation in the the cooperative form of the enterprise itself.

Resources

“The information and training materials on this website are supplied by the author and have not been edited by us. We have provided these materials as a central resource for our users, but we encourage you to carefully evaluate their relevance and accuracy for your own purposes. Please note that the views and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect those of our organization, and we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions they may contain. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy and appropriateness of these materials before using them. Proper attribution to the original authors is always required when using these materials, and you should also follow any applicable copyright or licensing requirements.”

Due Diligence for Directors

your co-op to the next level Guidance questions for a due diligence process for a new co-operative director

Guidelines for Cooperative Legislation

This new third edition has been produced to incorporate new developments that impact how cooperative law is being developed. These new developments are multiple and include a general trend in the harmonization of law, the emergence of international regulations which directly impact enterprises, new regional cooperative legislation and regional framework laws as well as innovation in the the cooperative form of the enterprise itself.

Could You Be Sued as a Co-op Board Member?

No one seems to be keeping track of the total number of lawsuits filed against the boards and individual directors of the roughly 6,000 cooperative apartment buildings in New York City. But lawyers say it is extremely common for angry co-op members to file lawsuits and name individual directors — often as abullying tactic.

Guide to Wills, Estates, and Surrogate’s Court for HDFC Co-op Boards

This guide was created as a tool to help empower the Board of Directors, Shareholders, and advisers of Housing Development Fund Corporation (“HDFC”) co-ops so that these co-ops might be better prepared and better able to seek advice from an attorney regarding basic will and estate issues.

Understanding Capper-Volstead

There are essentially two keys to understanding the basic meaning of the Capper-Volstead Act and its special implications for agricultural producers, associations of producers, and the general public. The first key appears in the act’s very first sentence: “...may act together....” After passage of the act, farmers could lawfully unite to collectively market their products. Before the Capper-Volstead Act became a law, farmers were being prosecuted for acting together to market their products.

What Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know About... Lawsuits

The most common reaction to being served with a civil lawsuit is shock, denial, and disbelief. Whether or not your organization is ultimately found to be at fault, the lawsuit process can be a frightening experience. Part of the anxiety stems from not understanding the process, the vocabulary, and what is expected of you.

The Convict Next Door New Rules On Convictions Affect All Cooperatives

On April 4, 2016, the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Guidance on the application of the Fair Housing Act to Cooperatives and other housing providers. The Guidance notes that a greater percentage of African Americans and Latinos than whites have criminal records. The refusal to rent or sell to persons with criminal records may therefore have a disparate impact on race and perhaps national origin.

Guidelines for Cooperative Legislation

These “Guidelines for Cooperative Legislation” are a rewrite of the “Framework for Cooperative Legislation” of which a revised version was presented to and endorsed by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) General Assembly 2001 in Seoul.

Coop Law for Dummies

Many cooperatives have reached a critical cross roads, and face a multitude of challenges that have converged to threaten the future of the housing cooperative form of home ownership. Now, more than ever, Board members must be prepared and equipped to respond to questions that are being posed to them. This article will prepare Boards to face these challenges, and to turn them into opportunities.

Creating Sound, Legal Community Rules

Every co-op or condo has rules and regulations that have been put in place to define the board’s authority and limitations of power, as well as outline the rules for the community, residents or shareholders. And although the governing documents are intended to work in the best interest of everyone in the building, they sometimes pose problems. Especially, when rules are amended or created and they conflict with each other, create problems for residents, or are against the law.

Legal Manual For Small Rural Home Cooperatives

This manual is designed to help people in rural Wisconsin develop housing cooperatives composed of a small number of adjacent single family homes specifically designed for senior citizens. A companion manual, the Development Manual for Small Rural Home Cooperatives, covers the development process in detail.

What Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know About... Lawsuits

The most common reaction to being served with a civil lawsuit is shock, denial, and disbelief. Whether or not your organization is ultimately found to be at fault, the lawsuit process can be a frightening experience. Part of the anxiety stems from not understanding the process, the vocabulary, and what is expected of you.

Simply Legal

All you need to know about legal forms and organisational types For co-operatives and community owned enterprises

2017 Changes To Wisconsin’s Cooperative Law

Business statutes provide basic legal requirements for the organization and operation of different types of entities incorporated in a state. An organization incorporated under Wisconsin Chapter 185 is required to include “cooperative” in its legal name, and must follow certain statutory requirements that differentiate a cooperative from other types of business entities. The term “cooperative” cannot be used in the name of entities incorporated under other types of business statutes.

Accommodating the Disabled Member

The cooperative may not refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a member equal opportunity to use and enjoy his or her dwelling, provided he or she is disabled or handicapped. The law does not require changes in rules in order to provide special privileges for disabled persons. It only requires changes when they are reasonable and afford equal opportunity to enjoy the cooperative as do non-disabled members.

Sherman Anti Trust Act,

You are prohibited, except with express approval ,1 of legal counsel, from discussing with any ·i customer or supplier any action, including action on prices, that the customer or supplier might take with respect to third parties.

Can I Be Held Personally Liable For Actions Taken In My Capacity As Board Member?

“When you take on a voluntary position to serve on a condo or co-op board, it is reasonable to consider whether you mighthave any personal liability exposure,” says James Woods, Esq., a partner at Woods Lonergan PLLC, who is a litigationattorney with a concentration in representing and advising condo and co-op boards, as well as other corporate and businessentities. Board members are tasked with a variety of sensitive responsibilities on behalf of their building. “This may include beingcalled upon to sign banking or finance documents or papers in connection with legal actions concerning common charges onthe part of the board,

Cannabis Legalization And CHF Canada Housing Coops

On October 17, 2018, it became legal to use cannabis (marijuana) recreationally in Canada.* As a result of this change, we've heard from co-ops asking about what they should do and if there will be any changes or impacts to their insurance coverage.

Choosing a Legal Structure for Your Housing Co-op

Congratulations, you are taking on a worthwhile challenge. This guide is for you if your goal is to own property as a group in order to create stable housing for a community of people. This guide gives you an overview of the legal structures you could use for that purpose in Illinois.

The Application Of Civil Right Laws To Housing Cooperatives

Are coops bastens of discriminatory exclusion or self selecting models of community based living.

Legal Guide To Cooperative Conversions

This Guide has been prepared as a publication under an award to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, as part of a project to increase worker-ownership for low- to moderate-income workers. We aim to provide an overview of the legal steps involved for you, a selling owner, to convert your business to employee-ownership. We provide a few models of how to convert your business, the issues raised in valuing your business, and related financing, governance and employment law considerations. Finally, we close with a few case studies that illustrate the points we raised in the guide. We hope you find this guide useful and please submit any comments or feedback to us at

Cooperative Agricultural Marketing

This report focuses on the legal characteristics of cooperative marketing agreements. The basic legal principles governing marketing contracts are first reviewed. The integral parts that make up a marketing agreement are then examined in detail. Examples of common provisions used in marketing agreements appear throughout the report for purposes of illustration.

Legal Duties and Responsibilities of Co-op Board Members

Members of the board of directors of a cooperative have the same duties and responsibilities as do directors of any other business. In addition, they have a few other responsibilities that are unique to cooperative board members.

Legal Foundations of a Cooperative

Construction of a solid foundation under a building requires the proper use of numerous materials and tools. Only when the foundation is securely in place can the remainder of the structure be built with confidence that it will become a permanent part of the community.

Housing Cooperative Law Blog.

Petitioner City of Iowa City's board of review reclassified 18 properties held by eleven multiple housing cooperatives from commercial to residential for property tax purposes. The Iowa Code permits the classification of residential property to include all land and buildings of multiple housing cooperatives organized thereunder.

Michigan Housing Cooperative Law

AN ACT to authorize cities, incorporated villages, metropolitan districts, counties, and other public bodies to aid housing projects of housing authorities, housing commissions and the federal government by furnishing parks, playgrounds, streets, and other improvements and facilities, by exercising certain other powers and by making agreements relating to such aid; to authorize cities, incorporated villages, metropolitan districts, counties and other political subdivisions to contract with respect to the sums to be paid them for improvements,

Michigan Cooperative Housing History and Case Law (1934-2011)

Owning a home is the quintessence of the American dream. A home purchase will be the largest purchase most Americans ever make. According to the United States Census Bureau 66.4 percent of Americans own their own home.1 Of this group, 1.2 million live in cooperative housing.2 First-year law students learn about traditional home ownership, titles, deeds, and mortgages in their property courses, but spend little or no time learning about this unique form of home ownership.

National Housing Cooperative Case Law Survey

Petitioner City of Iowa City's board of review reclassified 18 properties held by eleven multiple housing cooperatives from commercial to residential for property tax purposes. The Iowa Code permits the classification of residential property to include all land and buildings of multiple housing cooperatives organized thereunder.

New Liability Ruling: How Does It Affect Boards?

Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher Jr. was a resident of The Dakota, a co-op apartment house at 1 West 72nd Street inManhattan. Fletcher, an African-American, alleged that the co-op and two of its directors discriminated against himbecause of his race when the board refused to approve his purchase of an apartment adjacent to the one he alreadyowned, for the purpose of combining the two. Fletcher claimed that the co-op and two individual board membersretaliated against him because he sought to protect the rights of minority and Jewish shareholders and applicants.He also claimed he was defamed by the defendants.

Revolving Patron- Member Equity in Cooperatives

Cooperatives are organized to provide goods or services to their patron member owners, not financial returns to investors. The cooperative’s primary value to its patron members is transactional. While the cooperative operates “at cost” to deliver this value, as a business it also require ongoing sources of capital for financial stability, and for reinvestment that allow it to continue to meet patron member needs.

Legal Primer

Many individuals and organizations contributed their experience and expertise to help bring this primer to you. Special thanks go out to all of the CDS Consulting Co-op consultants who shared their years of experience on the front lines, The CoCoMaMas for their ground-breaking work on membership best practices, Kathryn Sedo for allowing us to reprint her article on the duties and responsibilities of boards of directors, and our editor Ann Woods for keeping this project moving forward and creating a coherent document even as we revised our revisions, and Thane Joyal for her work on the second edition.

Legal Sourcebook For California Cooperatives: Start-up and Administration

It should be noted that the "model" articles of incorporation should be modified to delete the words "the Incorporators and" from the "witness" sentence. Also related to the model articles, the reference to "Director" beneath each "signature line" of both the "witness" & "declaration" sections should be replaced by the typed name of each initial Director. These article changes are based upon subsequent interactions with the Secretary of State's office.

What To Do When The EEOC Comes Knocking ?

Has your co-op ever received a charge of employment discrimination? Such charges are often filed by co-op employees after termination. The terminated employee contacts the equal employment opportunity commission EEOC or a state civil rights commission and files a charge. Charges often allege the employer discriminated against employee because of race, color, creed, nationality, gender, religion or age. In the past dozen years the number of claims against employers alleging discrimination because of disability has risen dramatically.

When Suing a Co-op Board, Should You Sue Individual Members?

The plaintiffs, who own an apartment in the building, sought to undertake a signifi cant renovation that required,among other things, the removal of exterior walls, the relocation of certain utility pipes and the incorporation ofspace owned by the co-op. Because of the scale of the proposed alterations, the review process continued over thecourse of several years and involved several changes and revisions.

Will Your Association Protect You?

With responsibility comes risks and liabilities for staff. The question herein is whether or not the association would protect you if something went wrong under your authority? An organization is more likely to come to the aid of staff when systems and precautions have been implemented. Thus, good managers focus not only on meeting goals and objectives but also on developing systems to protect staff.

Michigan Cooperative Housing History and Case Law (1934-2011)

Owning a home is the quintessence of the American dream. A home purchase will be the largest purchase most Americans ever make. According to the United States Census Bureau 66.4 percent of Americans own their own home.1 Of this group, 1.2 million live in cooperative housing.2 First-year law students learn about traditional home ownership, titles, deeds, and mortgages in their property courses, but spend little or no time learning about this unique form of home ownership.3

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