Posts tagged "constitutional law"

Can Court-Ordered Restrictions on Co-Parenting Communications Violate a Parent's Constitutional Rights?

The short answer, according to a recent Appeals Court Memorandum and Order Pursuant to Rule 23.0, is yes. In the unpublished case of Sanavage v. Chavis, the parties were never married and were the parents of one child together. Following a trial on the father's complaint for custody, support and parenting time, the Probate and Family Court issued a judgment ordering, in relevant part, that the child should continue to reside primarily with the mother, that father would have regular parenting time, and that the parents would abide by specific provisions with respect to their co-parenting communications, such as only communicating with each other about matters related to the child and only via text message or email, among other restrictions. The trial judge inserted these detailed provisions because the evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the parties had experienced difficulty in co-parenting effectively throughout the child's life; presumably, the judge was intending to reduce any similar friction by imposing certain limitations on the parties' future co-parenting communications.

Banks Challenge Oregon's COVID Foreclosure Moratorium

A group of Oregon banks and banking organizations have come together to challenge the legality of that state's emergency COVD-19 banking regulations. Enacted on June 30, 2020 and in effect until it expired on December 31, Oregon's House Bill (HB) 4204 placed limitations on financial institutions' abilities to enforce mortgage contracts. Specifically, HB 4204 mandated that banks provide forbearance from mortgage payments to individual and commercial borrowers who attested that their inability to pay related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Banks also could not pursue collection or foreclosure actions during this time. Even though these emergency forbearance provisions have now expired, lenders will not be able to collect accumulated overdue sums until their borrowers' loans reach maturity-often years or decades in the future. Borrowers have the power to enforce HB 4204 by filing a lawsuit against any lender who violates these emergency regulations.

Appeals Court Holds That Condominium Owners Can Waive Constitutional Rights In Bylaws

The Massachusetts Appeals Court considered whether a provision in condominium by-laws unfairly prevented individual unit owners from seeking the intervention of the court where the unit owners alleged that the condominium's trustees had breached their fiduciary duties and mismanaged the condominium's affairs. In Bettencourt v. Trustees of Sassaquin Village Condominium Trust, the owners of three units in a twelve-unit condominium sued the three trustees who had hired a contractor to pave the condominium's parking lot without first putting the matter to a vote of all of the unit owners. The paving work resulted in $950 special assessments against each unit owner. The trustees alleged that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the condominium by-laws, which contained a provision (referred to as a "consent requirement") that required unit owners to obtain the assent of at least 80% of the unit owners before filing suit against the trustees. The plaintiff unit owners had not obtained that assent before filing suit in this case.

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