On April 7, 1994, the Judge Thomas H. Wood of the Augusta County Circuit Court decided Fried v. Dunkerton.
34-2-5635 Jaye v. Oak Knoll Village Condominium Owners Association, App. Div. (per curiam) (4 pp.) Chris Ann Jaye appealed from orders granting judgment in favor of Oak Knoll Village Condominium Association (OKV) for arrearages associated with common element assessments pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:8B-17 and from an award of counsel fees to OKV in its collection action. Appellant is, and at all relevant times was, a unit owner at Oak Knoll Village, a condominium community. Appellant failed to pay her common element expenses. OKV instituted legal action seeking a judgment against appellant. Prior to the entry of judgment, a settlement was reached between the parties whereby in exchange for a “zero-out” of the claimed balance owed by appellant to OKV, appellant would commence payment of the common element charges. Notwithstanding the agreement, appellant ceased payments. OKV instituted another action by way of counterclaim seeking judgment for unpaid common element expenses and counsel fees. The appellate panel found the court appropriately granted OKV’s motion for summary judgment. Among the powers assigned by law to a condominium association is the authority to assess and collect funds for the payment of common expenses. Here, the judge’s finding that OKV was entitled to judgment for outstanding common expenses owed by appellant was in accord with the uncontroverted facts and the controlling law. A condominium association is also authorized to charge a nonpaying member with “reasonable” attorney fees. Here the judge acted within his discretion in determining that $8,000 in attorney fees was reasonable.