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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Looking for direction

  • 24 Mar 2021 5:53 PM
    Message # 10232126


    Our camp road residents have decided that we want to form an association and have joined this group and done research online and with the templates and information provided at this site. However, we are also wanting to consult with an attorney as we pull the pieces together officially. One of our members set out to find an attorney to work with and has had a lot of difficulty to find someone willing/able to work with us.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. also curious about what groups use for insurance or if they use an insurance?

    Thank you in advance!

  • 25 Mar 2021 11:24 AM
    Reply # 10234163 on 10232126
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For insurance we use Oberg.  

  • 26 Mar 2021 2:47 PM
    Reply # 10238367 on 10232126
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Insurance is very important and I suggest you shop around while looking for a liability policy with at least one million in its cover. Insurance costs can be very different so don't be surprised at differing policy costs.

    Also, it is not a requirement that you have a attorney guide the establishment of your association. It can be done by your own members following the Title 13 law. I presume you are looking at forming a statutory association. That is the easiest and would allow you to "copy" an existing set of by-laws provided by another RA.

    Good luck, bearing in mind that bylaws are not absolutely needed. 

  • 27 Mar 2021 10:37 AM
    Reply # 10241543 on 10232126
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Title 13 deals with corporations (I looked it up).

    Peter, do you have a preference for forming an incorporated rather than an unincorporated statutory road association using the Private Ways Statute, Title 23? 

    Last modified: 27 Mar 2021 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 27 Mar 2021 12:30 PM
    Reply # 10241757 on 10232126

    Hi Angela,

    I agree that contacting a lawyer would be a good idea.  I would suggest Mary Denison in Augusta.  She has been advising road associations for years and should be able to help you get going.

    All the best,  Don Petersen, Mt. Drive Road Association

  • 27 Mar 2021 1:02 PM
    Reply # 10241814 on 10232126
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My recommendation would be to go with a Statutory Road Association under 23 MRSA 3101-3104, which can be done fairly easily by just following the law to the letter.  You need to hire a Notary for the initial filing, but no attorney is required.  If you need any help along the way, there are a number of us here on the forum who can help, and the Resources page provides manuals and sample forms.  But I have to admit I am not familiar with the process for a non-profit road association, and I don't know what advantage there is in going that route.  I do know that a statutory road association has the advantages of not being required to file annually with the state, as well as having the framework and the enforcement tools provided in the statutes. 

    If you do decide you need an attorney, Mary Denison would be my first thought too.  However, someone else commented recently that they had tried her but she was not taking on new clients at the moment.  If you contact her, I'd suggest asking IF she can take you on, and if not, if she can recommend someone else.  I remember telling her a couple of years ago that I didn't know of any other attorney that knows road association law like she does, and she looked surprised and rattled off the names of some others. 

    I would give John Cunningham of Eaton Peabody equally high praise.  I've always known him as top of the line when it comes to abandoned and discontinued roads, but at last fall's MARA conference I came to appreciate his expertise re: road associations as well.  I really liked his comment that he sees his job as keeping you out of court by making sure your association is set up in a way that cannot be challenged.  

    That being said, the advice of both attorneys at the conference largely boiled down to making sure you follow the law to the letter.  If you do that, you should be fine.  If you're not comfortable with that, I'd suggest getting everything as ready as you can on your own, run it past someone with a successful statutory road association, and maybe then have a brief consultation with an experienced road association attorney just to make sure it's all in order.

  • 28 Mar 2021 3:07 PM
    Reply # 10244836 on 10232126
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My apology to Sandy Allen or whomever:

    I inadvertently hit the #13 (actually the "1") while attempting to strike the "2" key for a "23". Not my first error on a computer keyboard!

    Peter D.

    I further suggest that you follow Response # 10241814 on #10232126. It is well written and should be followed.

    Peter D. (again)

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