Your condominium’s or subdivision’s governing documents likely contain many provisions setting forth certain windows of time or deadlines by which certain actions must be taken, for example, giving notices of member meetings, taking action without a meeting, or responding to architectural modification requests. These deadlines will be enforced strictly by the courts in litigation, so it’s important to know the exact day when the clock begins ticking and the day of the deadline.

Calculating that deadline can be tricky, especially if you happen to forget which months have 31 days in them! We assume this was the unfortunate case in Sedlar et al. v. Glenmar Place Subdivision Homeowners Association (Not Reported in N.W.2d, 2006 WL 657134). Two plaintiffs, Sedlar and Frederick, sued the Association over its refusal to approve their proposed plans to construct fences. The trial court granted the Association’s motion for summary judgment in the Association’s favor, and the appellate court affirmed that judgment with respect to Sedlar.

However, Frederick had submitted an architectural application for construction of a fence to a board member on August 12, 2003, and the Association did not respond with its denial until September 12, 2003. This was one day later than the 30-day time limit provided in the Association’s Declaration (lack of response constituted approval per the Declaration). In the absence of any specific process for submission of architectural applications in the Declaration, the appellate court found that submission to a single director started the clock ticking, so the 30-day deadline was September 11, 2003. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision with respect to Frederick and allowed Frederick to construct the fence.

Here’s a handy online calculator that will tell you which date is X number of days from a certain date.

By Mark Petrie, Legal Assistant