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Briargate Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Carpenter

976 F.2d 868 (1992)

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Briargate Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Carpenter

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

976 F.2d 868 (1992)

Facts

In 1984 Briargate Homes was formed as a general partnership. Judith Carpenter (defendant) and her husband were made partners and gave funds to purchase units in the Briargate Condominium complex on behalf of the partnership. The bylaws of the Briargate Condominium Association (the association) (plaintiff) entitled the association to issue assessments against unit owners for maintenance of the common areas and sue for unpaid fees. As of December 1, 1988, the partnership had failed to pay assessments totaling $85,106.08. The association sued Carpenter as a general partner of the partnership for the balance of the fees owed. Carpenter contended that she believed the partnership was a limited partnership, not a general partnership. Under the Revised Uniform Partnership Liability Act (RULPA), if Carpenter in good faith believed that she was a limited partner and not a general partner, she would not be liable for the debts of the partnership. In support of Carpenter’s contention, on February 5, 1988, once Carpenter was advised she may be a general partner, Carpenter notified the other partners and the association that she was withdrawing from the partnership. The trial court held that Carpenter did not effectively withdraw from the partnership and that she was therefore liable for the debts. Carpenter appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hamilton, J.)

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