Las Cruces, NM asked in Real Estate Law for New Mexico

Q: May New Mexico HOA Board members meet informally to discuss possible agenda issues in private, if no decisions are made?

These are informational discussions with no voting or decisions, to help us create the agenda for the monthly Open Board Meetings and come prepared to discuss and vote on items.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In New Mexico, while informal discussions among HOA Board members regarding possible agenda issues may seem innocuous, it's essential to be mindful of state laws regarding open meetings and transparency. Even if no decisions are made during these discussions, if a quorum of Board members is present and the discussions pertain to official business, they may be subject to open meeting requirements.

Generally, New Mexico's Open Meetings Act mandates that meetings of public bodies, including HOA Boards, be open to the public and that proper notice be given for all meetings where decisions are made or deliberations occur. Therefore, even informal discussions among Board members outside of official meetings may be subject to these requirements if they involve HOA business and a quorum is present.

To ensure compliance with state laws and promote transparency within the HOA, it's advisable to err on the side of caution and conduct all discussions regarding agenda issues during properly noticed and open meetings. This approach helps maintain accountability and fosters trust among HOA members by allowing them to participate and observe the decision-making process.

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