Your Aug. 6 article regarding the S.C. Court of Appeals decision on the Callawassie Island Club was useful in explaining the ability of its members to resign. In its decision, the three-judge panel, headed by its chief judge, ruled unanimously that under South Carolina statute 33-31-620 a member of a nonprofit club can resign his or her membership without a continuing obligation to pay its dues.
The article states, “In most of Beaufort County’s gated communities, club membership is mandatory, so Wednesday’s court ruling will likely not have a broader impact beyond Callawassie’s gates.” That statement, while accurately stating that club membership is “mandatory,” misses the clear point that other clubs could be affected. The Court of Appeals’ published opinion, which has the effect of law, states that members of any nonprofit club may resign without a continuing obligation to pay the club’s dues.
The court’s decision will definitely impact other Beaufort County’s gated communities’ clubs. I know of other clubs that are separate, nonprofit organizations from the property owners’ association, and they will be impacted by this law as their members resign their memberships. Those clubs could be forced to modify their operation-funding programs to include “national” memberships for non-resident members.