January 8, 2019
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia,
(CAB-8278-15), (Hon. Todd E. Edelman, Trial Judge)
Van Grack for appellant/cross-appellee. Paul Strauss and
Crystal K. McBee were on the brief for
C. Mugavero for appellees/cross-appellants Gateway Georgetown
Condominium, Inc. and Zalco Realty, Inc.
Thompson and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Washington,
cross-appeals arise from a dispute between condominium owner
David Bridgforth and the condominium association of which he
is a member, Gateway Georgetown Condominium, Inc. Mr.
Bridgforth argues that the Nonprofit Corporation Act of 2010,
D.C. Code § 29-401.01 et seq. (2013 Repl.) entitles him to
get access to certain records related to Gateways financial
dealings. Mr. Bridgforth further argues that the trial court
erred by concluding that the provision on which Mr.
Bridgforth relies must give way to a conflicting provision in
the Condominium Act, D.C. Code § 42-1901.01 et seq. (2012
Repl. & 2019 Supp.). Mr. Bridgforth and Gateway also
challenge the trial courts denial of their respective
requests for attorneys fees. We affirm the trial courts
ruling on the merits and remand for further proceedings with
regard to attorneys fees.
following facts appear to be undisputed. Mr. Bridgforth owns
two condominiums in a building in the District of Columbia.
Gateway is the condominium association for the building and
is incorporated in the District as a nonprofit corporation.
Mr. Bridgforth is one of Gateways members. In October 2015,
Mr. Bridgforth filed a suit alleging that Gateway and its
management agency, appellee/cross-appellant Zalco Realty,
failed to provide him with records that he had requested
pursuant to the Nonprofit Act. (For ease of reference, we
refer to appellees/cross-appellants collectively as Gateway.)
trial, Mr. Bridgforth sought enforcement of fifteen requests
for information he had made to Gateway in various forms over
the preceding three years. The trial court found that eleven
of Mr. Bridgforths fifteen requests did not comply with the
requirements of the Nonprofit Act. See D.C. Code §
29-413.02(b)-(c) (requiring, among other things, that
requests be made by signed notice, be made in good faith and
for proper purpose, and describe requested records with
reasonable particularity). The trial court further determined
that the remaining requests were largely directed at
information -- regarding personnel matters, pending or
anticipated litigation, or files of members or individual
unit owners -- that Gateway could properly withhold under §
42-1903.14(c)(1) of the Condominium Act. The trial court
therefore denied Mr. Bridgforths claim except as to portions
of two of Mr. Bridgforths requests that were directed at
information not subject to withholding -- namely,
documentation of Gateways expenditures related to
air-conditioning units in the building.
trial court denied Mr. Bridgforths request for attorneys
fees under § ...