This important victory for community associations was codified by the Michigan Court of Appeals in its recent published opinion issued July 2, 2015 in the case of Great Lakes Shores v Bartley. The importance of this decision cannot be overemphasized for any community association that seeks to recoup its legal fees and costs in a collection matter. We are pleased that we were able to obtain this result and have it published so that it has precedential value. A summary of the decision is that a Summer Resort Association, organized under MCL 445.201 et seq., has the right to: (a) place a Lien against real property; (b) foreclose said Lien; and (c) recover costs and attorney fees pursuant to and as provided by the Association’s Bylaws. The Opinion recognizes that the bylaw provision that was at issue provides Summer Resort Associations with the same or similarly worded bylaw provisions with the right to enforce their liens and commence “an action to collect unpaid dues as separate and distinct avenues of relief.” The Opinion further provides that, because the bylaws, the contract at issue, permitted the Association to seek attorney fees that it incurred to recover unpaid dues and assessments, the trial court should have awarded them.

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