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Subject: Taking your board of directors to court
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Author Messages
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:5021


12/22/2012 5:48 AM  
MikeR you certainly don't have a grasp on what a HOA is or anything about it's workings. You will always be a "victim" of your HOA and tell others about it. I am NOT drinking your cool-aid and uneducation of the whole HOA concept. You wiil find that a HOA is a SALES tool above anything else you may believe it is.

I will not be commenting any more on this as I just don't follow this type of mindset. It's destructive and has no point in the end. Serves no purpose just like you do in your HOA...

Former HOA President
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 5:51 AM  
Madison could have been speaking directly to the "governance" of HOAs:

“No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

Federalist #47

The explaination and justification of the "seperation of powers" clause found in EVERY state and in the US Constitution.

But not in HOAs....
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 5:52 AM  
HOAs are tin pot tyrannys...and Americans are beginning to say "ENOUGH"!
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 6:28 AM  
And yes MellisaP1, I fully understand that you and all of the board members who have attained the immense power of imposing your will over your neighbors, without regard to the law or principles of equity, egged on by the service providers who profit immensely, win loose or draw from the conflict, will never willingly give up that power.

George Orwell brilliantly indentified both the seduction and corruption this kind of power over us pathetic human beings, and the amazing capacity to ignore the devestation that results.

So this power, in the interest of justice and the principles of our American Constitutional Democracy, must be stripped from you forever by court order.

It is well worth the cost and effort to do so.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:5021


12/22/2012 7:13 AM  
I didn't want to comment but you truly are one of those nutjobs. Seriously, get a clue on what an HOA is and where it originated from. Not all of us are these power hungry tyrants out to ruin everyones day. Most of us on here are members of the HOA to make sure the rules that ALL owners signed are enforced per the restictions everyone agreed to. No power trips here. Matter fact, I created a neighborhood watch, a garden club, a kid's council for their input, improved home sales/sale prices several grand, and got a better parking situation for everyone including emergency vehicles. Wow I must really be some kind of power hungry tyrant to do that for my neighbors some I didn't even like.

A HOA started out as a "sales tool" for developers/builders to sell their products. They sold the idea/theory to potential buyers that if they would buy a home in their development they could enforce rules so that the values of their homes would be maintained or increased over other homes. Someone had installed an "Outhouse" in the front yard, the HOA could remove it in a timely manner and send the owner the bill for removal. Can't do that in a city in any timely manner and uses the tax payer's money. This sounds like a great idea to many buyers because it implies they can hold their investment values after purchasing. The property is to stay ATTRACTIVE to potential future buyers so one can sell their homes at maximum pricing.

The developer/builder make their money by buying say 100 acres of land. They then divide that up into 100 LOTS. They sale those lots at $50K a piece. The builder then steps in and builds $100K homes for the buyers on those lots. To increase interest the developer may install amenities like a pool, clubhouse, or tennis courts. It will be up to the owners later to carry the largest burden and that is the continued care and maintenance of these items. So a pool can be a double edged sword from the beginning.

Once the Developer releases the control of the property to the owners, it is up to the owners to maintain everything. Since a HOA is only made up of OWNERS which are you and your neighbors, it then stands to reason that it has to form some kind of way to manage the property. That is when it becomes a quasi government/corporation. The owners being not only stockholders but governors of the property as well. The HOA BOD is ELECTED from the general membership to represent the entire membership on DAILY activities, budget, and rule enforcements.

This is what a HOA is. Learn it and shut up with the paranoi crap you spew about people's freedoms being violated in one. You get out of a HOA what you put in it. Seems like your just loading a bunch of garbage into yours and complaining when it comes back to your doorstep. Get out of one cause your just clueless and uneducated until actually now that I schooled YOU on REALITY....Thank you.

Former HOA President
FredB4
(Ohio)

Posts:360


12/22/2012 7:41 AM  
I have to agree with Mellisa here. You are one of those nutjobs. Fining is one of the worst parts of being a board member but I sure haven't found an alternative when a homeowner simply refuses to folow the byaws and violates the rights of other owners. The whole idea of buying into an HOA or COA is to live in a controlled regulated community and the board has a duty to enforce the rules and regulations.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9740


12/22/2012 7:53 AM  
Melissa,

It's not worth your time and energy. Mike has made up his mind.
Even though he lives within an HOA, he has no desire to participate in it.
He believes that what he is "planning" (I say planning because he certainly hasn't provided any information on what he has actually done, just on what he plans to do) on doing to be the right course of action.

He apparently does not want other points of view, as he has decided his perspective of HOA's is valid. Therefore, he paints all Associations with the same broad brush.

I doubt anyone will change his view. As he pointed out (and something we all know) there are a lot of web sites out there that share his perspective. Based on his postings, he has found some of them and they have served to cement his perspective.

It's his life. It's his decision, and it appears that that decision has been made.


Mike,

I again wish you luck.

I believe, based on my perspective, that there are better, less costly options with fewer unintended consequences. I have mentioned them to you. You have posted that you appreciated the options but have chosen to go with what you originally intended. That's fine with me, it's your decision and your decision will have zero impact on me.

So again, I wish you luck.


The members of this site are mostly volunteers who have or currently are serving on their respective Boards or committees. As the banner at the top of this page says, this site was designed for those volunteers to share ideas and learn from each other and to discuss topics related to those duties.

Yes, board members are all volunteers. Some are better at serving in those positions than others. If members of an association are apathetic and don't volunteer, then those who are willing to serve.

Personally, I would love to give up the "power" you claim I have. Unfortunately, the members in my Association are apathetic and there haven't been enough volunteers to even seat a full Board. Therefore, I continue to serve. Perhaps this is the same way in your Association. Perhaps not.

You, have posted that you have no desire to serve. Therefore, within your Association, you are partially to blame for allowing your volunteers to continue to serve by not even offering a choice to the membership between yourself and those you believe should not be making the decisions in your community.

Sorry, I digress. You have made your decision and no matter what I say, it's doubtful you will see things from a different perspective.

Again, I wish you luck.

Perhaps it's time to put this topic to bed.

Tim

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:4308


12/22/2012 8:00 AM  
Some 12 years back (2001) when we decided to retire to SC, we were deciding between the Columbia and Charleston areas. We wanted a new, single famiy, standalone home so we went looking at several new HOA neighborhoods in Charleston and Columbia. The home prices were about $200K and the two neighborhoods were very close in appearance, design, amenities, etc. We had lived in an HOA before so we had no issues with them being HOAs.

Well we decided to relocate to Charleston and were very happy but
two years ago (2011) we decided to re-retire to the Columbia area as we have extended family here.

We wanted new construction again but when we were looking we decided to ride through the original HOA. Well let me tell you, it looked like crap. We were shocked. Overgrown grass, weeds, crappy sheds all over the place, fences helter skelter, etc. 70% of the homes looked lovely but overall, the place was a dump. Homes were selling for $200 to $220K and there was a ton of them on the market.

We compared that to our home and HOA in Charleston which looked better 10 years later then it had when we first bought. We bought for $200K (2001) and sold for $300K (2011).

I later learned that the Columbia HOA had been weak and ineffectual, basically let the owners do as they wished. Once they saw what was happening, it was near impossible to stop. They have a new BOD with a different attitude but as one of them said to me, most of the damage has already happened and we are struggling trying to bring the place back.

Does this mean I like to have some control over my neighbors? Well if they are unwilling to "maintain" a home/land to the accepted local standard/expectation, then yes I want some control for the sake and value of my property.

Was I smart enough going into this HOA to know and understand the Covenants and Bylaws and be willing to abide by such? Yes I was.

Are many having issues as they were to dumb and/or inexperienced to know better? Yes they are. Whose fault is that?






MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 8:08 AM  
The HOA respects no law it has no use for; and why not? It "can get away with it".

You talk about elections but there are no election laws being observed.....why?

There are no chain of custody of ballots,they go directly to the board members to count who have a direct interest in the outcome...this renders them garbage....why?

You can fine your members without even a passing consideration to due process....why?

You don't observe Open Meeting Laws, which renders your meetings a laughable excercise in manipulation and deceit....why?

Someone is certainly the nut job here....I guess we need the courts..you know..a REAL impartial judiciary to determine who that is.

I saw my 92 year old neighbor "ripped off" by my HOA...purely because they could "get away with it".

Remarkably, they even recorded in their minutes a willful violation of the law when they did this digusting thing.

Investigating futher, I found that this is a routine practice in HOAs across the country.

Yet you ignore all of these fatal flaws in HOA governance, and spout your good deeds regarding flowers and parking spaces.

Why? Why to preserve your power of course....

I love the "shut up" business though...how classy is that. I bet that is exactly how you conducted your meetings when a homeowner would present a dissenting opinion (falsely believing that the meeting might not be rigged).

And I bet you STILL wonder why virtually none of your homeowners waste a second of their time at these ridiculous kangaroo events, or want anything to do with the repugnant people who think nothing of persecuting their neighbors for an errant blade of grass, a window shade out of place, or a garbage can left out prior to the homeowner getting back from work.

A man named Quisling also jumped right on the bandwagon when he got the opportunity to excercise power far beyond what was reasonable or right.

He did fine for a while, right up until the point where his very name became synonymous with a person who would sell out the rights of his neighbor, for his own profit and aggrandizement.






MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 8:23 AM  
As far as participating in my HOA....I am most certainly participating in the most important aspect of the HOA bar none...

The absolute requirement that they observe and obey the law.

I will tolerate nothing less from my HOA. And when the board, as they so commonally do, ignore the law....then there will be price to be paid.

That unfortunately is the most important job to be done in my HOA today..and I am doing just that.
JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


12/22/2012 9:38 AM  
Wow..... And I thought I had issues. Thanks Mike.

My suggestion tap your brakes or double up on the meds.

"Spit in the face of the Constitution" I really like the flair for the drama.

Mike you bought into ONE HOA with one group of Board members but you have now spread that expierence onto each and every HOA in the land and now you fight some make believe crusade for "truth justice and the American way."

Scary when the human mind gets to a point when it sees nothing but endless wrongdoing. When everyone, including those you have never met, are evil, power hungry and deserving of your brand of destruction. Think the medical term is paranoia??????

Perhaps, you may have noticed on your way in this site for the most part is frequented by HOA Board members. So perhaps when you barge in degrading each and every one of us it might not be recieved well. There are other sites you might visit in which you will find more like thinkers. If not I would hope the administration of this site would remove your ability to post.

I though for one would like to hear the outcome of you representing yourself in court during his process. You know the old "has a fool for a client" rule. You read what you wish to read and hang on to statements and polices that in fact have nothing to do with quite possibly YOUR HOA and certainly the thousands of HOAs about which you know nothing.

I would suggest you put together a plan "B" just in case the courts don't fall in line with your way of thinking. If it does happen despite all the fancy quotes and history lessons. Just holling at the moon.....

We had one nut job sue our property. Whenever this case was scheduled, everyone in the court house knew that on that day on the 4th floor the wacko was once again represeting herself in her world of make-believe.

In the end she LOST! Despite her strong views of right and wrong.

Another anti-HOA owner who bought into an HOA because it offered lower prices and the benefits of ownership versus a standalone home. Another zealot whose life has become a life or death battle over their perception of "right and wrong" and death and destruction should be brought down upon them....... IMO life is way to short to find the good fight when in the end the emeny you see never existed.

Mike I hope for your sake you jump off the crazy train because you are NOT Franklin, Washington, or Jefferson and the last time I checked your signature was not on the Constitution.......

You live in an HOA a type of property ownership that you willfully bough into. That's the reality try to work your way back there.....



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9740


12/22/2012 10:23 AM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 8:23 AM
As far as participating in my HOA....I am most certainly participating in the most important aspect of the HOA bar none...

The absolute requirement that they observe and obey the law.




YOU HAVE?

Good! What is it you have done?

Gathered support and recalled the board?
Gathered support and didn't re-elect the board?
Tossed your hat into the ring at the hopes of being elected to the board?
Volunteered to serve on a committee (architectural, election, nomination, etc.)?
Volunteered to take some of the work load by offering your services?
Solicited proxies so you had control of the votes at election time?
Speak to your Board about your concerns and offer methods to address those concerns?
Helped your neighbors comply with the covenants by lending a hand when needed?

OR

Are you just complaining about perceived wrongs and offering no assistance in correcting those wrongs?


Can you provide 1 specific instance with appropriate references where your Board is not in compliance with the law? If you can, I would suggest starting a new topic with it. It may be that the Board is actually in non-compliance or it may be that you are mus-understanding the issue and perhaps we can provide references and options to help you understand or a less expensive process to have the Board comply.

Currently, everything you have mentioned has been generalities. You may indeed have a bad set of Board members, but you see this as the norm instead of the exception. However, many individuals of this site went through issues with their boards and are now serving to make sure that the Association is in compliance with their applicable laws. Therefore, as Jon said, when you lump all Associations together and call all board members (which would include those on this site) we become defensive. This is because, to the best of my knowledge, those on this site are complying with their local laws and governing documents. They do hold open meetings, they do have a due process procedure in place, etc. etc. etc.

Your perception of your Association can provide some good discussions and learning experiences for everyone. However, to have those discussions, specifics of the issues that caused your perception is needed. It's not necessarily what the Association should do it's what they are legally required to do.

If you have specifics, please start a new topic. Keeping each topic to one issue only.

If you don't have specifics, I again wish you luck in your planned legal action as I think you will need it.

Tim



MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 10:39 AM  
I totally agree with you. It IS scary when the mind refuses to see what is clearly evident.

The Farrans in Virginia were amazed, and watched in awe as their HOA refused to acknowledge their responsibilites under the law and was literally destroyed by the legal system which finally caught up with it.

And this pathology of "lets pretend we are above the law", it is epidemic in HOA land.

I am a captain of a ship, my wife is the senior surgical nurse on the trama team of one of the best hospitals in the world.

Our peers would laugh in your face with the "crazy" accusations. They would also recognize immediately the true nature of this dispute, and instantly see the true nature of YOU.

Right and Wrong seems to be the issue people like you can not even identify, much less begin to honor. When you "go after" your own neighbor for something as arbitrary as a blade of grass..or a garbage can...simply to let them know you don't like them...It is so repugnant as to be unbelievable. Arguably even evil.

That HOAs raise this level of gross incompetence and petty ignorance into an art form; that is the true aberation here.

I have to laugh when you say that the normal people in your community are "apathtic" when they don't want to be in the same room as you or have anything to do with you or your repugnant HOA...

As if Americans are in any way "apathtic" about the place they raise their familys and call their home.

We are not apathetic...we are completely disgusted, and even fearful of the misanthropes who live amoung us and attempt to manipulate and steal from us.

Yes...I totally agree...a truly scary situation
JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


12/22/2012 11:14 AM  



591 posts
5 awards
Mar 13, 08:21 PM
If the board violates the bylaws or your state laws, then they cannot impose fines. What does your state's law say about HOAs imposing fines? I suggest you work with other owners to make the changes you want. An HOA is supposed to be representing the interests of the owners, if this one is not get the board to see things differently or get a new board of directors.


Mike Reardon· Falmouth, MA



12 posts
1 award
Mar 13, 10:06 PM
I am not going to work with anyone. I hardly know any of my neighbors, and I am too busy working, raising a family ect. to bother.

I am suing them for violating the contract I agreed to.

I called the AG's office, and they told me that was all I could do. They said that they KNOW the HOA is violating the law, but that these HOAs hide behind the fact that these violations are not criminal and the AG can do nothing.

I will work in the courts to strip them of any power to degrade our American way of lif
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 11:22 AM  
And Tim...you just don't seem to get it...

HOAs don't observe any Election Law.. normal homeowners will not participate in rigged elections.

HOAs don't observe any Open Meeting Law..normal homeowners refuse to attend highly manipulated and rigged meetings.

HOAs cheat on the ballots because they are the ONLY ones who can even count them...and normal homeowners throw them in garbage where they belong.

You don't seem to understand that in the absence of any constraints that would prevent it...nothing an HOA does is deemed to be legitimate by the large majority of homeowners who belong to them.

But you use the word "apathetic" when homeowners shun this HOA thing in its entirety.

You continue to ask why I don't chase my tail and play this rigged game.

I was not born with this view. It took me some time to come to it.

I had gone to the board, many years ago and early on, fully expecting them to say "oh geez, you are absolutely right, if we observe and honor the law, we will be percieved as being a legitimate organization"

But instead I got the response that any carnival con artist would provide when you notice how their game was rigged....."HOW DARE YOU DOUBT MY INTEGRITY!!"

In fact, that could sum up what I am getting from the board members who populate this site today.

And that IS odd. This is such a pervasive pathology that it would merit study by some forensic anthropologist. Why is it that this delusion of validty, accompanied by the refusal to abide by any law that would ensure validity, is uniformly maintained by the folks who "rise to a level of power" in these HOAs?

The answer is as obvious as it is unflattering .

We are "on" to the scam, and the carnival barkers don't like it.

So perhaps this "conversation" IS over. Just remember that millions of Americans are ON to what HOAs are REALLY all about.

And most Americans are tired of being ripped off by the carnival and the folks who populate them.










TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9740


12/22/2012 12:42 PM  
Mike,

You don't seem to get it.

Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

HOAs don't observe any Election Law.. normal homeowners will not participate in rigged elections.




For Associations that are incorporated, and most are, corporate law would be the election laws that they are required to comply with. That and what is within the governing documents.

Typical "election laws" don't apply to corporations. They are written for State elections and they were written and adopted by the State's legislature.

Corporate laws vary from State to State. The applicable VA corporate law goes into some great detail about elections (see § 13.1-847 through § 13.1-848). I looked at Mass. corporate laws and they are certainly lacking in that regard.

Personally, I make darn sure we comply with our laws. The election committee counts the votes at the meeting in the same room as the meeting is held. Members are invited to observe. Unfortunately, because of lack of participation from the membership (be it apathy or any other reason) when we ask for volunteers to serve on the election committee we get zero responses.

If the membership isn't willing to become involved, this leaves those who are willing to do the job.

Again, you gave zero specifics on how elections are held in your Association. Therefore, I can only explain how things are done in my Association (partially because I and other like minded individuals chose to become involved to make sure it happens this way).


Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

HOAs don't observe any Open Meeting Law..normal homeowners refuse to attend highly manipulated and rigged meetings.




Again, you are considering all Associations like yours. My Association does observe and comply with the open meeting statute in VA Property Owners' Association Act (see § 55-510).

We publish the dates and location of the meetings on our website and in our newsletters. If someone attends (which is rare - and I don't know why), they are asked to participate and interject ideas at anytime. Hopefully they have another perspective on the issue being discussed and have a better idea on how to address it.

You never specified if you were in a Condominium Association or a Homeowners Association. If you are in a Homeowners Association,the Mass. legislature has not adopted any laws for Homeowner Associations (only for condos). Therefore, I'm not sure what open meeting laws you believe are applicable to your Association. Could you please cite and/or provide a link to them?

Of course, even if there isn't an open meeting "law" that doesn't prevent the membership from amending the documents to require open meetings. Does your governing documents specify open meetings? If they do, would you please cite the applicable section?


Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

HOAs cheat on the ballots because they are the ONLY ones who can even count them...and normal homeowners throw them in garbage where they belong.




As I said earlier, this is not the case in my Association.

Have you requested to observe the ballot counting in your Association and been refused?
Have you volunteered to chair an election committee for your Association?
Have you exercised your rights under Mass. Corporate law and inspected the ballots to look for signs of tampering?

I do agree that "normal" homeowners (just like "normal" Americans) refuse to participate in the election process. That's a darn shame.

In my Associations last election, we had 44 out of 130 participate. Imagine what could have happened if the other 86 members/lots chose to participate. Heck they could have completely changed the outcome of the election. Heck, if even one person solicited and obtained proxies from those 86 that one person would have controlled the votes and decided who did or did not serve on the Board.

Unfortunately, the "normal" people chose not to participate and thereby allow those who are willing to participate make the decisions that directly affect them.

How many members/lots participate (i.e. vote) in your elections?



Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

You don't seem to understand that in the absence of any constraints that would prevent it...nothing an HOA does is deemed to be legitimate by the large majority of homeowners who belong to them.




I can only respond based on my Association (just as you can only speak for your Association).

Our Association must be doing something right. The majority (actually 95.3%) pay their assessments on time. We only have one member who is more than 30 days in arrears. The development looks well and have only had 10 violations of the covenants last year. Most of those violations were minor and, once pointed out, the members complied.

We haven't "fined" anyone for failure to comply with the covenants since 1985 (based on our records). This indicates to me that the majority of our members seem to agree in how things are being ran (but I do wish more would participate in the process) and the current rules/regulations that are in place.

What is the basis you use for saying the majority of the membership (you and your neighbors) of your Association believes that your Association is wrong?


Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

But you use the word "apathetic" when homeowners shun this HOA thing in its entirety




Lack of participation, especially when directly asked to participate, is seen as (and is the definition of) apathetic.

This is because it would seem logical (and pass the common sense test) that if the members were concerned that they would participate in the process (especially when asked to do so).



Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

I was not born with this view. It took me some time to come to it.

I had gone to the board, many years ago and early on, fully expecting them to say "oh geez, you are absolutely right, if we observe and honor the law, we will be perceived as being a legitimate organization"

But instead I got the response that any carnival con artist would provide when you notice how their game was rigged....."HOW DARE YOU DOUBT MY INTEGRITY!!"

In fact, that could sum up what I am getting from the board members who populate this site today.




Yep. Everyone is human and human nature tends to be defensive when you are challenged.
Fortunate are those who can get over this defensive posture and actually listen to the other persons perception. Not everyone can do that.


To be honest, I also had your perception of my Association at one time. I searched the internet and found many, many sites that fostered that perception. Fortunately, I found this site. The members on this site challenged me to be specific. Asked me to cite where my understanding was coming from and to give examples. Through this process I determined that I would have indeed won any legal challenge about my issue but that the only way real changes would occur would be from within. Therefore, I started educating the membership with my new found knowledge. To make a long story short - the problem wasn't the Board. It was one individual who served on the Board. Once that person was removed (and no, I wasn't the one to replace him) the whole issue changed.

Had I not found this board, I may have approached the issue improperly and I'm sure I wouldn't have changed the direction the Association was going. Therefore, my perception of the members of this site is that for the most part everyone wants to be helpful. However, we are all human and act it at times. Even when we agree to disagree, I have respect for the other persons opinion (mainly because they backed it up with specific references).


Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

Why is it that this delusion of validity, accompanied by the refusal to abide by any law that would ensure validity, is uniformly maintained by the folks who "rise to a level of power" in these HOAs?




To me, that answer is best done with the following quote:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." John Dalberg-Acton.

In my mind the way to keep power from corrupting those serving in office is to participate in the process and vote those who appear to be corrupt out of office.


Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

The answer is as obvious as it is unflattering .

We are "on" to the scam, and the carnival barkers don't like it. And most Americans are tired of being ripped off by the carnival and the folks who populate them.





GOOD !

Then why are you not participating in the process so the people you see as being the problem out of office?


You purchased into a coveted community. You knew (or should have known) that authority in this community was given to an Association. You knew (or should have known) that the Associations authority is exercised by it's board of directors. You know that these Directors are those members who (for whatever reason) are willing to volunteer and become a candidate for the Directorship. You know that it's the members who elect, from those candidates, the individuals who will serve on the Board and make the decisions that affect you and your neighbors.

However, sine your one of the "normal" people, you chose not to become involved in the process then, when something happens or a decision is made that you don't like, you yell and scream that you don't understand how this happened.

Well, YOU and YOUR NEIGHBORS allow it to happen.

You and your neighbors have the power (heck based on my own membership you and your neighbors likely have the controlling power). It's up to you to exercise this power. It's also your choice not to exercise it.

Imagine what could be changed if you gathered your neighbors together and convinced them to participate.







Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 11:22 AM

So perhaps this "conversation" IS over. Just remember that millions of Americans are ON to what HOAs are REALLY all about.




I don't think you really understand what HOA's are about.

The Association is to provide specific services and maintain the common area.
That's it.

What services are provided and what additional authority an Association has is determined by the membership through the deed restrictions (i.e. the CC&Rs) and other governing documents.

Who exercises this authority or decides what level of services and who will provide them is the individuals the membership (through their participation) elects to serve on the Board of Directors.

Honestly, that is all that Assocaitions are about.
Based on my experiences, there can be bad board members and bad decisions made by good board members. However, it's the membership who decides who will serve on the board and, typically, those who do serve are members of the same association.

Since the members have the power, it's the members who are supposed to do the checks and balances on the Association. If most of the membership decide not to participate (dare I say, be apathetic to the whole process) then those checks and balances aren't being exercised. This is when things are more likely to go wrong.

Trust me, nothing goes wrong over night - it takes years of membership apathy to have it happen.










TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9740


12/22/2012 12:58 PM  
Actually,

Let me summarize everything I just said.


Mike, I do get it. You and others in your membership have chosen not to participate because you honestly believe that you can't make a difference.

What I don't think you get is that I felt the same way you do for many years (read my earlier posts). Then, when the Association started going after me, I discovered, from personal experience, that my participation did make a difference.

It didn't happen over night. I didn't do it alone, but changes happened. For me, it took three years of educating other members of my Association before they (apparently) agreed with what I was saying and then they also participated. However, and this is my point, it did happen!

I suspect that 90% or more of the members of this site can provide you with similar stories on how their participation changed things.

Hopefully you will take the time to investigate what we are saying and, even if you don't agree with all of what we are saying you will see that at least some of it passes the common sense test.

Again, I wish you luck.

Tim
JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


12/22/2012 1:14 PM  
"Just remember that millions of Americans are ON to what HOAs are REALLY all about."

"And most Americans are tired of being ripped off by the carnival and the folks who populate them."

And Mike would now seem to have decided HE speaks for them ALL!

MILLIONS.... or perhaps a few hundred thousand.....well maybe a few hundred across the US......or at least Mike and a few like minded folks on all the anti-HOA websites and blogs....

Seems Mike has gone "round the bend" in his quest to right a wrong in his one and only HOA.....

But he is the leader of MILLIONS now..... Yeah right...

I have lived in a condo property for nearly 30 years. I worked to remove a useless and corrupt Board. It is not the Board's problem good or bad it is the owners who sit back and do nothing. IF there is a problem work to address it. And IF there is a problem on YOUR property, don't assume that every like property, every member of every Board falls into YOUR small and closed view of the world.

I too know right and wrong. I also know a zealot when I hear one...




MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 1:22 PM  
I have taken a section out of the board's own minutes to show you what happens when ballots are counted by the folks who have a direct interest in the outcome.

This meeting was about how to count a yes/no vote to authorize the board to institute a policy that would let them fine homeowners:

July 1, 2002 Board of Directors Meeting:

Bob Brann: I move we add onto the ballot that
a no response is a vote for the proposal.
John Garabedian: I second it.
Dave Jablon: And add a date to respond by.
Jack Adams: Why isn’t a “no vote” a NO?
Gary Street: We’re forcing them to vote. I make a motion to end discussion. All in favor?

5 in favor 1 opposed

My wife and I recieved a letter shortly there-after informing us that we were being fined that read in part:

“your Board of Directors mailed out a paper ballot so the membership could vote on it. The results were overwhelming in favor of the fine system”

We told those scam artists to $#%^ OFF and never heard back. They simply moved on to some elderly folks in the community who were to frightened to tell them the same thing, and who paid their arbitrary fines cowering in fear.

I will NEVER attend one of these rigged meetings. Virtually every homeowner I know who was made aware of this in my community wants NOTHING WHATSOVER to do with this disgraceful organization or the sociopaths who are so stupid to actually record the fraudulent manipulation of their ballots in their own minutes. We will not show up and dignify this corrupt process, or submit to even being in the same room with these folks.

Isn't it laughable?...If you question their corrupt stupidity...then a motion is made by the board to "end discussion".

Seriously, do you really expect homeowners with an IQ north of 95 to ever waste their time with this? We don't. It sounds like your neighbors feel the same way.

You can call it "apathtic" all you like...but seriously...homeowners are NOT apathtic about their homes....they are deeply disgusted that they have gotten sucked into such an absurd sitiation, run by folks who should be in jail (and would if this were public government).


MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 1:46 PM  
Zealot...good word!

Board members in their arrogance think they can make decisions about their neighbors property, and when those neighbors turn around and let you know that they view you with disgust...they are the zealots.

What in interesting aspect of human stupidity these HOAs uncover.

Developers sail off into the sunset after creating these things, and homeowners...instead of recognizing the scam and burning the insulting documents and salting the earth with their remains...

NO! The power over their neighbors is so seductive (to a very few) that if anything the powers are increased....

You mention all the blogs, articles, homeowner advocate sites that are growing daily...stories of corruption and fraud that boggle the mind..and dismiss them all...

That kind of zealot will not ever liston to reason. That is why the only thing to do is sue in court. And the service providers, those ethicless attorneys...they are laughing all the way to the bank as boards bankrupt and destroy the HOA fighting anyone who dares oppose its will, whether it has any basis in law or not.

Now that is a textbook zealot.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:9740


12/22/2012 2:31 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 1:22 PM

This meeting was about how to count a yes/no vote to authorize the board to institute a policy that would let them fine homeowners:

July 1, 2002 Board of Directors Meeting:

Bob Brann: I move we add onto the ballot that
a no response is a vote for the proposal.
John Garabedian: I second it.
Dave Jablon: And add a date to respond by.
Jack Adams: Why isn’t a “no vote” a NO?
Gary Street: We’re forcing them to vote. I make a motion to end discussion. All in favor?

5 in favor 1 opposed

My wife and I recieved a letter shortly there-after informing us that we were being fined that read in part:

“your Board of Directors mailed out a paper ballot so the membership could vote on it. The results were overwhelming in favor of the fine system”

We told those scam artists to $#%^ OFF and never heard back. They simply moved on to some elderly folks in the community who were to frightened to tell them the same thing, and who paid their arbitrary fines cowering in fear.




Gee, what a difference it may have made (could still make) if you, in addition to telling your Board off, you organized a recall of the board.

Instead, you chose to let others fend for themselves and allow the tyrants to stay in power.

Yep, You sure showed them.


That said, I agree, that most likely, the fines would not withstand a legal challenge. I say, "most likely" because when ever you take an issue to a third party, you stand (at best) a 50/50 chance.

Per Roberts Rules of Order, a non-vote is simply that - a non-vote. It doesn't count in favor or against the motion. It may or may not have the affect of supporting or defeating a motion (based on the wording of the motion). Too bad Jack didn't have additional support in the meeting (like someone like you serving on the board). Perhaps this bad decision wouldn't have been made.


By the way, if this was an amendment to the governing documents, you should consult with an attorney or check applicable State laws. Sometimes there are statute of limitations for legal challenges to a vote. If that time line passes, then regardless of the procedure used, the amendment may become valid.


Note: Rules for Posting Messages on this forum specifies No Mention of Community/Company/Person Names. Just wanted you to be aware of it.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5249


12/22/2012 2:44 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 12/22/2012 10:39 AM

I am a captain of a ship, my wife is the senior surgical nurse on the trama team of one of the best hospitals in the world.



Well if all HOA's are corrupt and evil then that same logic would posit that all ships captains are alcoholics and incompetent idiots, just ask Joseph Hazelwood Captain of the Exxon Valdez and Francesco Schettino Captain of the Costa Concordia. And don't get me started on nurses, as a former paramedic, I've met some doozies over the years along with some of the most intelligent and compassionate. Same thing for doctor's, paramedics, teachers etc. What you do doesn't automatically give you a valid grasp on reality.


French historian and author of Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed, "In a community association, members get the boards they deserve."
JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


12/22/2012 2:57 PM  
Mike there is an article out on the internet about another property owner with the same name as you, who lives in the same property as you who already took their HOA to court. Now it is my understanding this person LOST that lawsuit.

Do you know this person? I would guess they too had decided what was right and wrong and took their claims to court and somehow the courts ruled against them. Going to court is NEVER a sure thing especially when you decide to handle the case yourself.

And just a side note seems on some of YOUR favorite blogs YOU make every other posting with the same tired old stories. So do posts like yours from the same people count in your estimae of the MILLIONS who now chant your name?????

Yes Mike from the response you have gotten here no doubt your views are spreading. HOAs are bad each and every single one of them. Every Board member who serves, has served and will ever serve is to be destroyed. Now Mike here who lives in ONE out of more than 250,000 HOAs has concluded this. And being oh so busy raising his kids, he lacks the time to really know any of his neighbors but all he does know is that the HOA system must be brought to its knees.(Seems Mike does have time to post on many anti-HOA sites and blogs and then come to this site, and claim he is not interested in advice well then what purpose does it serve then??? To hear himself bark at the moon............)

Zealots love to hear themselves talk. repeat, preach even when no one is listening. It's God's work. A way of life....

Good luck Mike so far you seem to have gained the support of no one here. But it must be all of us right???








MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 2:58 PM  
By golly, I thought that was the subject of this entire thread.

I am suing my HOA and stripping it of its authority to fine...anyone...ever.

I am asking the court to have this apply to ALL HOAs in the state.

The service providers to associations (read: lawyers) are hitting my case on the court website so often that my case is the number 2 most searched case in the State.

http://www.ma-appellatecourts.org/index.php

Here is a sample of what the court is reading regarding fines:

The Executive Board of Directors may unilaterally amend the Declaration, and then sit in judgment of any transgression, then issue orders to pay pecuniary mulcts that they may foreclose on a member’s property to collect; it is by definition unreasonable. This system of justice is exactly what the term “banana republic” brings to mind and no United States citizen a fortiori no citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should ever unwillingly find their financial well-being or their interest in property threatened in this manner.

And fines are really just the begining...I will not soil myself by going to meetings that are inherently corrupt. I will not ask my neighbors to do it either (they would rightfully just laugh in my face if I did).

One needs to take a shower after only reading the minutes (when they are even recorded in a remotely accurate way) of these things.

We have had our sole African American resident persecuted as if he had some dreadful disease, our elderly
neighbors canabalized for revenue, a young immigrant family financialy ruined because they built a nicer home right next door to an association president...

While board members are the ONLY ones with chain link fence (covenants require split rail) a....no exageration..10 foot tall satalite dish in the front yard of one who owns a radio station (covenants say no dishes of any kind)...it just goes on and on as to be sickening.

That is why this thread attracted me....I am suprised that there are not thousands of folks who want to put these things down like the disgusting insults to property ownership they are.








JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


12/22/2012 3:04 PM  
zeal·ot
/ˈzelət/Noun
1.A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals

Mike, thank you.

My education took me only as far as the 6 letter words nothing bigger than those. BUT, I know some of them rather well.

And while I might in other areas and concerns agree with you IMO in this paticular instance you are handling it poorly and improperly.

But then again I am one of those rotten to the core Board members who do nothing good, positive, or useful just work each day to make your life miserable.

That's a very small world to live in Mike....
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


12/22/2012 3:14 PM  
Oh dear...and those folks who preached and preached about how aberant it was not to let anyone other than white people attend certain colleges (or any public place in certain parts of the country).

What a bunch of zealots they were! Didn't they know of the time honored Jim Crow laws that were the law of the land?

What nuts to go on and on about it, when even the governer himself blocked the door to those kids demanding equal access under the law.

Now....years latter.

How disgusting it all was. Who can look upon that now and not be ashamed of those ignorant people.

It will be very interesting to see how these laughable tin pot tyrannys, and the people who ran them are viewed in 20 years.





IreneJ
(California)

Posts:38


12/31/2012 2:48 AM  
AMEN TO THAT
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1019


12/31/2012 4:54 AM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 12/21/2012 7:28 AM
I live in my home because...well it is my home. The fact that HOA boards do not comply with the law, and act as preditors to my vulnerable neighbors does not make me want to...leave. It makes me want to destroy the thing that is ruining my community.



After reading this thread, I agree with a some of what Mike is saying but also agree that presentation is a big part of it all. If you go into a court rambling like you have in these posts you will surely be dismissed. The media will call you a crank and it will be status quo for your neighborhood for years to come until the next "crank" speaks up.

I am not the biggest fan of HOAs. I had a lengthy fight with not one but two of my HOAs (which has led to me no longer being part of either of them anymore). I was told by many of my neighbors that if I didn't like it I could move... from my home. I decided it was more important to fight, but I also understood the costs of doing so. My bad experience has left a bad taste in my mouth but I don't really have a problem with the existence of HOAs. I just believe that there should be more governmental oversight into the operations of HOAs.

You must realize that while it may seem futile you must get involved. For the last five years I have been involved in my community educating people about the situation. Most people have disregarded what I was saying but I made it a habit to go to all of the meetings. I would record and take notes. I would research and then work to disseminate the information the best way possible to those who didn't attend (which was 90% of the neighborhood).

After the work by me and a couple other homeonwers (most importantly the homeowner suing them), the HOA is essentially dead. They have run out of money, stopped holding meetings, took down their website, and have essentially withered away.

You cannot simply throw your hands up in the air, ignore everyone around you, and expect your case to change the system. It probably wont even if you win. What will have a lasting effect is how you participate in your neighborhood.
IreneJ
(California)

Posts:38


01/04/2013 3:04 PM  
JM10, can you send me a PM? I have some quesitons for you since we are involved in similar situations.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


01/04/2013 5:38 PM  
Sorry Kevin but I disagree. I really don't care what my neighbors think or what they do. I care about my family and my home...period. If someone in the community told me to MOVE...what an assinine thing to say! I would probably laugh in their face and throw them off my property with some help from my size 11 shoe.
Like your HOA (and every HOA I have ever heard of), 95 percent of my community wants nothing to do with this crooked tin pot tyranny.
My HOA stepped WAY out of line when they tried to repudiate my contract (they pretend my ARC approval, which cost me $200, signed by both the HOA and us and our builder, which my home was built in exact accordance to...didn't exist years latter) Their reason? They thought they could get away with it. It really is as simple as that.
I sued them and they got caught...no "rambling" before the court was necessary. Fraud is fairly simple to prove when you have a signed contract.
So while I admire your doggedness for trying to fix this patheticaly broken system, I don't have the time or interst. All I want from the HOA is to keep the grass cut and the roads free of snow and ice. Why should that be so difficult?


JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


01/05/2013 9:43 AM  
Seems transparency is desired only when it doesn't make the true picture more clear.

No doubt Mike has issues with his HOA. No doubt Mike has become blind to the real issues but rather seeks to make this a battle for right and wrong.

So now Mike hits every website, blog and takes every opportunity to preach his version of the Gospel according to Mike.

But as in many cases there seems to be more to the story. And his concern for neighbors who he claims have been abused by this same HOA would seem to ring hollow.

In fact Mike no longer cares to see those neighbors he claims to be so concerned about. Read the article below.

Seems the one case Mike now references is in fact at least the FOURTH legal action he has brought against his HOA. Guess the first 3 didn't satisfy his agenda so we now are going for number 4.

Seems Mike is representing himself not because it suits his interests best but rather at least one of his former lawyers withdrew themselves from his case.

Seems like protecting the Constitution is not going all that well in Mass.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1064965,00.html

Found this article giving details about how one of Mike's lawsuits was decided in favor of his HOA. So under the legal system set up under the US Constitution Mike seems to have lost.

But if at first you don't succeed try, try, try, and try again.

Mike is certainly not an uninvolved party fit to judge the worthiness of HOAs in general. Seems like many fanatics Mike has become a "right" fighter willing to go to any extremes to prove his view of things is correct.

And despite his claims that millions of people now see the HOA world his way reality is Mike fights this battle with little real support. Anywhere.

And despite his nonsesne trying to equate his efforts with those of the civil rights movement there is in fact NO similarity.

People died, were murdered, shot, hung, tortured fighting for civil rights to claim your lawsuit against an HOA raises to that level is asinine.

Mike states he no longer wishers to see his neighbors my guess they feel the same way about him.

Yes all HOAs suck when you live in a world of paranoia...........
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


01/05/2013 10:20 AM  
The Constitution has always regarding our rights in property right up there with life and liberty.

Now...some sleezy little sweetheart deal between a developer and the municipality stips Americans of several fundemental rights regarding property.

American citizens living in HOAs find themselves subordinate to a cheesy tin pot governance you might expect in Central America, with no oversight or regulation, no enforcement of the few laws that do apply.

You can not open the paper without finding some outrageous action by some unqualified amatuer volunteer board (today? See in Jacksonville, FL the man who lost his house for $500 owed to the HOA).

As far as my personal experience in the courts...hold on there fella....we are not done with our HOA regarding an issue they thought "they got away with" several years ago..

The wheels of justice grind pretty slowly...and these board memebers who flaunt the law are using our money to stay ahead of those wheels. But it is only a matter of time; I am more than happy to let REAL justice take its course.



JonD1
(New York)

Posts:1716


01/05/2013 10:35 AM  
So I guess we can take this as a " I don't wish to talk about the other lawsuits I brought against my HOA". Because they failed...

Gets scary for me when I read the same old lines, phrases, and claims sort of like the followers at some Jim Jones drink the kool-aid nut fest.

0-3 so far with no lawyer facing #4.

And the winning prize???? Just what do you win???? What was all this worth??

Can't change course huh Mike? Can't consider another route? Full speed ahead and what if you don't win this time? Will there be #5?

IMO Mike your boat is full of holes and sinking fast and your goals in the end are not worth the price or risk.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


01/05/2013 11:39 AM  
1 lawsuit...

The current one is #2.

Yes it is painful and expensive to fight an HOA which has no sense of responsibilty to the law. Indemnified by O&D insurance paid for by the homeowners.

What is the battle cry of HOA directors? "Sue us, we have insurance!" (Actual quote from ex HOA president and ex neighbor...something about catching her hubby in the sack with another neighbors wife)

But I almost feel bad for them when the law finally does catch up to them, perhaps personally if their insurance bails on them...which I suspect will happen here in the next few months or so.

So please, stay tuned!
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