It’s not often that the lowly homeowner has much of a chance of getting a fair hearing in court. The vast majority of all rulings are against the homeowner and in favor of the private non-profit corporation. And many’s the judge who’s told a miserable homeowner that he or she should have read his covenants before signing the real estate documents.
Last week’s ruling, though, by the Supreme Court of Virginia was a clarion call to the National Homeowners Association Movement that it can’t stomp on the homeowner’s Constitutional rights forever. Basically the court ruled that the Shadowood Condominium complex in Reston, Virginia cannot assess fines against residents because there was no such permission granted in the development’s master deed. Bam! Pow!
Stone-faced attorneys in Virginia said the ruling will have a profound impact on 10,000 Homeowners Associations across Virginia. It certainly will have a profound impact on lawyers who make a fancy living from dragging homeowners into court over stupid covenant violations.
Just reading about the wrongdoing by certain Shadowood officials over the years is enough to make one weep. Millions of dollars spent on ‘improvements’ with no accounting oversight. Tens of thousands of dollars paid to certain HOA board members for ‘services rendered’. Towing cars right before Thanksgiving. Turning off the heat and air conditioning to ‘punish’ rule-breakers. It’s ugly, and I’ve linked to the Washington Post’s story below.
Law professor Evan McKenzie predicted in his last book, Beyond Privatopia, that Homeowners Associations were going to face a day of reckoning. He was precognizant, a man of real genius.
Folks, the mightiest dam in the world can collapse. The collapse, no matter how large, starts out with a microscopic fissure somewhere.
This dam has not yet collapsed.
But it will.
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I’ve gotten some emails from Maryland asking the impact of the proposed state proposal to change the status of the Columbia Association (an HOA) into a ‘newly created’ nonprofit community services corporation, whatever that is. Any help on understanding this issue would be hugely appreciated. A public answer here, or private (NeighborsAtWar@hotmail. com), and I will be eternally grateful.
Current news at the link below:
It’s not often that I post blogs from lawyers or law firms in the HOA industry. But when one of them truly ‘gets it’, they deserve praise. Jean Winters, an attorney who frequently blogs and answers questions in Florida’s Sun Central, occasionally shows a spark of brilliance. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t pass such material along.
Filed under beekeeping, de facto government, embezzle, foreclose, HOA, HOA Horror Stories, Homeowners Association, Las Vegas HOA, lawsuit, pets, realtor
Please, please consider signing the petition to restore Constitutional law to our private neighborhoods, HOAs, CIDs, POAs. This is not a radical petition. It’s only a request that our federal government allow homeowners access to Constitutional rights that they inadvertantly signed away while signing their mortgage papers.
As stated before in the blog, George Staropoli’s petition is not radical, it’s only common sense. Protect your rights. Restore your rights. Please read George’s letter COPIED below.
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From George Staropoli:
To the national advocate leadership:
Thanks for your efforts, now and in the past. This petition is for all of us!
We need only 150 signatures in order to have the petition appear on the We the People website for all to see. The turnout is dismal. Once we get on the site we can then expect a large response from those truly concerned about the state of our Constitution.
I need your help to get to those 150 petitions. Please urge the people on your lists to get busy and sign the petition. Tell them in your own words why we must get the FEDS’ attention. This is not democrat/republican or conservative/liberal! This our American system of constitutional government created by the Founding Fathers without reference to any political party! This support from Washington is a legitimate function of our Federal government, especially since the long history of state legislative failures to uphold the Constitution demands federal intervention.
We only have 30 days to get to 25,000 petitions, otherwise we have lost a very important inroad to Washington and the national scene. And CAI will be laughing its ass off if we fail. It is extremely important that you, the national leadership, urge support for the petition.
Please pass this on to others.
BTW, most of you know, but my new book, “Neighbors At War,” has been out for two weeks and sales have already started! I duplicate this blog over on my website, NeighborsAtWar.com Just click on the HOA HELL button to reach all these same blog posts. You can purchase my book from the webpage, or buy it on Amazon. Just run “Ward Lucas” in the book section and it should pop up.
Lots of good comments, so far. Ah! And BTW, most authors would never in a million years think of offering a money-back guarantee. But I will! Buy the book directly from me (NeighborsAtWar@hotmail.com) and here’s my promise: If you aren’t entertained, if you didn’t learn something new, if you can’t find some tragic HOA member to give your copy to, then return the undamaged book to me. I will write you a personal check to reimburse you for the book! My word is my bond!
151 Summer St #463
Morrison, CO 80465
The HOA world is buzzing about a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed against the Henderson, Nevada Police Department. It’s a lawsuit that could throw a massive punch in the face of the American HOA movement, especially those which use coersive tactics to intimidate HOA critics.
This really is a wild case. Two elderly residents of Sun City Anthem HOA in Nevada, tried to warn other homeowners that the board was illegally stashing millions of dollars of excess dues instead of returning them to residents. Any organization that doesn’t report such excess collections can face heavy IRS fines.
The board refused to pay attention to the complainants, so the two ‘agitators’ reported the apparent tax fraud to the Henderson Police Department. Keep in mind that a Federal Grand Jury was already prosecuting massive fraud among Nevada Homeowners Associations.
According to the mens’ lawsuit, the Sun City Anthem HOA filed a complaint with Henderson P.D. accusing the two men of filing a false police report. The cops then busted the two men, stripped them, handcuffed the two men to a vertical bar in the city jail, and left them for four hours. The men, one of them a retired Air Force officer, were appropriately outraged.
Their outrage grew as the IRS agreed that the HOA was indeed operating illegally and levied some heavy fines.
Now Col. Robert Frank (ret’d) and Tim Stebbins are suing the City of Henderson for false arrest, false imprisonment and a number of other allegations. The reverberations from this lawsuit could be massive; and massively fun to watch.
Can’t you feel the squirming among HOA board members everywhere?
Those of you living outside Nevada might have missed one of the most important editorials of the week. Of the month. If you love your family and your home, please take the time to read this from the Las Vegas Review-Journal: