Restriction on email addresses a fair one!
Earlier this week I read a blog entry from Lashcondolaw.com that I have found kind of frustrating since finishing the article. I retweeted and posted the blog entry on social media but for the past couple of days I have not been satisfied with limiting my comments on the subject of the court decision in Wu v. CCC to 140 characters.
The court in this case has declared that the owners’ e-mail addresses are not condominium records. Let me be clear – I like that ruling. There will be those that say that the courts are making it hard for a unit owner to communicate with other unit owners. I agree that is a result of the ruling, but let’s ask ourselves if it is really an unfair one.
I hope that the court was sending a message that one owner’s right to reach out to other unit owners does not give that owner the right to harass or bombard their community and neighbors with their opinions, frustrations or suspicions.
- Owners are entitled to reach out to other owners but making that contact free and easy unfortunately invites abuse of that right.
- I suspect that we would begin to see an increase in the number of libel and defamation suits if the courts had commanded condominium’s make email addresses available.
- I also suspect that fewer owners would have provided the addresses that the condominium board and management need to improve communications in an effort to avoid so many fractured communities.
I hope there is also a strong message in this ruling that our Board members, while subject to recall from the community they have volunteered to serve, are also entitled to a level of protection from those that may be unsatisfied or have a difference of opinion with a Board decision.
So for now, management and boards can feel free to ask owners for e-mail addresses, ask owners to authorize the use of electronic communications with the Condominium using those e-mail addresses and rely on the fact that Management and the Board are still able to protect those electronic addresses under privacy legislation. In effect it has allowed owners to provide two official addresses of service …an email address for use only by the Corporation and a postal address to be provided to owners seeking to contact others in relation to their concerns over the condominium affairs.