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To Socrateaser: Facts: The Virginia Code § 55-515. (Compliance

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To Socrateaser:


The Virginia Code § 55-515. (Compliance with declaration) states as follows:
A. Every lot owner, and all those entitled to occupy a lot shall comply with all lawful provisions of this chapter and all provisions of the declaration. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds for an action or suit to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief, or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by the association, or by its executive organ or any managing agent on behalf of such association, or in any proper case, by one or more aggrieved lot owners on their own behalf or as a class action. The prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and costs expended in the matter.
(1989, c. 679; 1993, c. 956.)

The last sentence of paragraph A states: "The prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and costs expended in the matter".

Question: Does the use of the word "shall" as opposed to "may" make the recovery of legal fees incurred in a successful HOA enforcement lawsuit more likely than not.
Sorry for the delay.

In legislative drafting the term "shall" is mandatory, while the term "may" is discretionary.

Given the context of the quoted statutory language, a court is required to award prevailing party attorney's fees in every case without exception.

Hope this helps.

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