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`SILENT’ PROXY VOTE CAN’T BE IMPOSED

SHARE `SILENT’ PROXY VOTE CAN’T BE IMPOSED

Q. We live in a condo building where a vast majority of the owners are out of the country most of the time, and it is impossible to obtain the votes necessary to update our documents, hold elections, or change rules when necessary. Requests for proxies are sent out but go unanswered.

In your column regarding proxies, you did not mention if it was legal for us to print on the proxy, "If you do not return this proxy, we assume you transfer your proxy to the board of directors to cast a vote for you."Will that float? - D.S., Miami

A. No. There must be a personal assignment or instruction as to what happens to one's proxy. Neither can you assume that a lack of response is an affirmative vote on any issue.

Q. Our condo has just terminated the services of our manager. We now find that there were several financial improprieties on the part of the manager, such as cashed checks that were never deposited and the commingling of association funds with personal. At our last board meeting, we discussed whether we should prosecute this person, or just let it go. I think we may not have any choice by virtue of our relationship with the unit owners. - D.W., Phoenix, Ariz.

A. The board is obliged to try to recover any assets that might still be missing, but it may or may not have to take the manager to court. Unless there are substantial sums that may be recovered, it might not be worth the trouble.

In a state that requires the licensing of association managers, the state should be notified of the problem so it can consider taking action to revoke or suspend the manager's license.