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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

definition of association.

  • 18 Aug 2010 10:03 AM
    Message # 404812
    Deleted user
    We are on a camp road that was developed in the early 1960's. Each of the 21 property owners that have a right-of-way easement have in their deeds a stated responsibility for maintenance of the road. We have operated as an association for years holding announced annual meetings to discuss the road needs and to establish and assess an annual maintenance fee equally across all owners. What is the difference between what we are doing and a "statutory road association"? The question of liability has come up and the insurance company says we need to form a formal association in order to get coverage, while I am thinking we essentially already are an association. Thank you for your advice.
  • 18 Aug 2010 11:20 AM
    Reply # 404855 on 404812
    Deleted user
    Rob Coates wrote:We are on a camp road that was developed in the early 1960's. Each of the 21 property owners that have a right-of-way easement have in their deeds a stated responsibility for maintenance of the road. We have operated as an association for years holding announced annual meetings to discuss the road needs and to establish and assess an annual maintenance fee equally across all owners. What is the difference between what we are doing and a "statutory road association"? The question of liability has come up and the insurance company says we need to form a formal association in order to get coverage, while I am thinking we essentially already are an association. Thank you for your advice.


    It sounds like you have an informal association (unless those deeds establishes something more formal).  A statutory association is formed by a majority vote of the parcel owners to establish an association, following the notice procedures in the Private Ways law.

    Functionally, a statutory association is probably not very different from what you are currently doing.  However, a statutory association is a legal entity recognized by the law; an informal association is not.

    Perhaps the biggest benefit is that a statutory association confers is the legal power to compel payment from parcel owners; in informal associations, very often there are some owners who simply choose not to pay their share. A statutory association can go to court, if necessary, to collect what is owed.  An informal association has no recourse.

    A statutory association grants limited immunity to its officials, such that they cannot be sued by members of the association for carrying out their official actions in determining repairs and maintenance, setting fees, collecting money, and awarding contracts.  You can still be sued for other reasons, or by non-members of the association.

    If you're worried about liability, you can also incorporate as a non-profit corporation and/or purchase liability insurance.

  • 19 Aug 2010 1:43 PM
    Reply # 405663 on 404812
    Deleted user
    Can anyone recommend a good, local (Augusta area) attorney that is familiar or specializes in road associations?
  • 20 Aug 2010 4:24 AM
    Reply # 405962 on 405663
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Rob Coates wrote:Can anyone recommend a good, local (Augusta area) attorney that is familiar or specializes in road associations?
    Howard Lake of Hufnagel and Lake in Winthrop has helped with this site. He knows road associations. 

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