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Schaefer v. Eastman Community Association

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
836 A.2d 752 (2003)


Facts

Eastman Community Association (ECA) (defendant) was a nonprofit corporation governing Eastman, a private, planned community offering recreational amenities. One such amenity was a downhill skiing area called Snow Hill. Eastman’s governing document was its declaration, which set forth ECA’s powers and the rights of Eastman residents. All property within Eastman was held subject to the declaration. The declaration did not expressly bar closing Snow Hill or reserve to Eastman residents the right to decide whether Snow Hill should be closed. After determining the majority of Eastman residents did not use Snow Hill or consider it important, ECA’s board of directors voted to close Snow Hill and sell its chairlift. Certain homeowners (plaintiffs) filed suit, seeking an injunction barring ECA from closing Snow Hill and selling its chairlift. The plaintiffs also sought damages. The plaintiffs argued ECA acted ultra vires in closing Snow Hill, because the declaration did not provide for ECA’s power to close an amenity. The trial court found that ECA acted ultra vires, and ECA appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Duggan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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