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I Fought my HOA in Court and Lost, But I Really Won

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posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 12:56 PM
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In California, Homeowner Associations, HOAs, are governed by The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, which gives California HOAs mind boggling authority to oversee escrows, impose and enforce rules, compel dues and assessment fees, impose fines, penalties, liens and even foreclose on rebel homeowners.

But, my HOA has been very naughty. They have refused to disclose their governing and procedural documents to prospective home buyers, they don't hold regular meetings, don't keep adequate records and refuse to allow member access to inspect records at all. They illegally raise dues, impose crazy illegal fines, suspended voter rights of 2/3s of the membership without due process, or even notifying the member their rights had been suspended! They illegally pay their board members, and on and on.

So, I took my HOA to court for a handful of basic no brainer violation of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, that the state legislature has designed to be heard and mitigated through small claims court. HOA members may petitions the court to impose fines, require compliance and to ask for injunctive and equitable relief.

Long story short, the HOA's new Board of Directors had fired the HOA attorney, who served us for over a decade, and hired a new attorney that argued for them, through a letter, that the HOA wasn't subject to the rules and regulations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, because, in his opinion, there is "no common interest" among the homeowners.

Now, my HOA has been overseeing escrows, demanding transfer fees, imposing rules and compelling dues, assessments and fines for over 40 years! They have enjoyed the authority and benefits of the law, but in court they argued that they had no obligation to protect the "common interest" of the homeowners!

The judge agreed with their new lawyer's assessment, over the letter I presented from our old lawyer, that said that we ARE a "Common Interest" development.

So, I lost. The judge didn't impose fines, for non-compliance of the law, on my HOA. Nope. The Judge ruled that our HOA was not a "Common Interest" and therefore not subject to the rules and regulations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act!

That means that the HOA is not subject to the benefits, the protections or the authority of the law either! None of 335 homeowners are compelled to pay dues, assessments or fines! We can paint our houses bright red! (Maybe, city subdivision rules still apply)

I walked out of court a loser. But, I walked out of court a FREE WOMAN!

I can't tell you the legal "can 'o worms" that this ruling could/will open up. But right now the question is, how do we maintain our "Senior Community" status of "55 and over" without the state's HOA protections?






edit on 29-9-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: windword

Every facet of human endeavor having anything to do with government will have corruption. I don't understand how we cannot accept from the get-go the depravity of human nature. People exist to screw each other. It's hard wired to screw in our brains.


edit on 29-9-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:00 PM
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I have never understood why someone would ever buy a house that was under an HOA. I hear complaints about them all the time, never anything good, and I'd be da***d if anyone else told me what to do with my own property.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:01 PM
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A good first test of this ruling would be to erect a flagpole in your front yard (if you have one) and fly an American flag.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:08 PM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
A good first test of this ruling would be to erect a flagpole in your front yard (if you have one) and fly an American flag.


Or five-ton 10 Commandments monument.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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When you bought your home, you more than likely signed an HOA Agreement Clause with rules and regulations.

Unless the judge totally threw out the legality of that clause, you must abide, per contract law, to those original agreements in the original contract.

That is a separate situation from Davis-Stirling. This, unfortunately, would be another court opinion but with such a long-standing background and signed agreements-it would take alot of money, time, and a really great attorney to beat this.

Sorry.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: Justso



When you bought your home, you more than likely signed an HOA Agreement Clause with rules and regulations.


Actually, I didn't.

(Remember, I said in them OP that the HOA refused to supply disclosure documents to prospective home buyers?)

The HOA refused to comply with my escrow company's demands, and sent them a letter saying that they weren't a "Common Interest" and that there was "No contract for the homeowner to sign"! I had to sign a release, releasing my escrow company from liability, because the HOA refused to comply with David Stirling Regulations.

I did present my escrow documents to the judge, which could be one reason why she ruled that they were not subject to the Act.

They voluntarily gave up their authority in court in order to avoid compliance with the law.
edit on 29-9-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: windword

Yahoo. You are free. Paint your house pink; raise your flag and do a big time, loud Christmas light show. Congratulations.
edit on 29-9-2017 by Justso because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:27 PM
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And place BIG, Yuuuge, Trump sign in the front yard at the base of the flagpole while you are at it....just for spite.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: Krakatoa



just for spite.


LOL.......This IS California!



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: windword

You don't type a day over 29... When I was in Court for those many hours, it was always nice to see "the little guy/small team" win one ever so often, especially if 'the larger team' had more than One mouthpiece.


namaste

Stay Hydrated...


P.S. Yes, it has come to "Big Team/re$ourçe$/Establishment" and "small team/Regular Joe/Joyce/Workin' Folk" I figured in lieu of the media trying to get Me to think in these terms after so long a period of time, I'd cut 'them' off at the pass and categorize just about every thing. So each 'thing' has it own importance or lack thereof...
edit on 10/13/2014 by JimNasium because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: windword

I can't stand my HOA.

It is run by a bunch of old busybody ladies that hate children and families.

I have had several run ins with them, but never took them to court.

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.




posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: JimNasium



You don't type a day over 29...


Oh, my mind is young and vital, but my face, my neck and my ass are definitely "55 and over"!



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:08 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: JimNasium



You don't type a day over 29...


Oh, my mind is young and vital, but my face, my neck and my ass are definitely "55 and over"!


So, how do you intend to use your new found freedom?

How do you think they will respond when you use their court 'victory' against them? My guess is they will backtrack and try to have it both ways.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: windword



That means that the HOA is not subject to the benefits, the protections or the authority of the law either! None of 335 homeowners are compelled to pay dues, assessments or fines! We can paint our houses bright red! (Maybe, city subdivision rules still apply)

BAM!!!
Good job!





posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: windword

Wow...could this be a landmark case moving forward???

Pretty amazing...



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus



So, how do you intend to use your new found freedom?


The HOA has tried to prevent me from having a business. The HOA gave me a hassle when I first moved in, when they found about my Etsy shop! I have a small Etsy and EBay store where I sell fairy wings and tutus. They ordered me to STOP selling on line and I had nosey old bitties, checking my online stores, spying on me to make sure I wasn't sewing or gluing at home! LOL (I still did, though!)

So, I'm going to get a business license!

I've had to use a fake location and name on my shops' marquees, keep my curtains closed and couldn't sell to my neighbors or at local craft shows or swap meets.

There are plenty of Avon, Mary Kay, Jewelry and Tupperware party sellers and Uber drivers here that will be relieved that they can come out of shadows!


edit on 29-9-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: windword
Stick it to them good.
I would stay with their ex-lawyer.... seems like he knows what he is doing.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: windword

its unbelievable things like this actually exist.

what the hell is wrong with people? the snoopyness, the micromanaging, the sabotage, bullying, sniveling....


my goodness......the more i learn about stuff like this the more i want to be an anarchist



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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Good work, and congrats on your roundabout win. Please keep us updated, as Im curious how the ruling will ripple forward for your HOA.

Im not a fan of HOA. I can't stand the amount of rules that try to govern my life as it is....adding more on a voluntary basis just aint my thing. Then again, im 100% pure country in my heart, and like to live where there aren't even people, let alone HOA's.

Nonetheless...you stuck it in their eye. For that, I salute you.




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