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Large Boat-Slip Marina Unit Owners Prevail in Dispute Over Assessement of Dockominium Fees.
The defendants appealed from the grant of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, asserting that the Superior Court’s ruling as to the illegality of one of the provisions of the condominium declaration at issue was erroneous. The defendants also contended that the hearing justice abused his discretion when he granted the plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees. The Supreme Court first determined that the provision of the condominium declaration at issue violated the plain language of the Rhode Island Condominium Act, G.L. 1956 chapter 36.1 of title 24. The Court stated that the clear language of the Condominium Act permits a differential method of assessing the expenses of a condominium association—but only to the extent required by a particular condominium declaration. The Court determined that the condominium declaration of Newport On-Shore Marina, Inc. does not require a footage-based assessment of the costs of operating the marina, but instead, in violation of the Condominium Act, vests discretion in the board of directors in that regard.
The Court furthermore concluded that the Condominium Act authorized the hearing justice to award attorneys’ fees and that the hearing justice did not abuse his discretion in awarding attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs in this case. For these reasons, the Supreme Court denied the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court.
Awarded: Awarded: Attorney Peter Brent Regan Wins On Summary Judgment & Is Awarded Over $26,000 in Attorney's Fees For His Clients