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Subject: Going to Superior Court in PA over $30
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AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


05/23/2017 8:07 AM  
I live in a development next to an HOA and we've been in court for six years because the HOA wants to charge us like members.

My last judgement from the Court of Common Pleas said I owe $30 total to the HOA (because of a 1966 deed clause and a 1911 easement).

The HOA wants to go to Superior Court over this, but, they have no legal ground to stand on.

I'm wondering this, is this just a way for their attorney to drum up work?

I have a website that explains the situation more thoroughly: www.ShoholaPa.com
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


05/23/2017 8:59 AM  
The HOA attorney works at the HOA board's direction, and apparently, they feel strongly enough about this to pursue you in court. Whether we feel this is a way for their attorney to get paid or not, isn't really going to help you. Instead, you need to concentrate on preparing a defense - you feel the HOA doesn't have any grounds to charge you $30, put your argument and proof together and tell it to the judge, as it were, and let him or her decide who's right.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


05/23/2017 9:40 AM  
Superior Court here takes the information from the lower courts so I'm good to go with defending it.

I've already proven I'm not in the HOA. They wanted "back dues" of $5,400 initially, then the "bills" went up from there. It ended up being judged as that $30

I was just wondering what people thought of the situation. It seems like nothing but greed and spite to me but that is just my impression.
AugustinD


Posts:603


05/23/2017 11:19 AM  
Amelia, in my experience, some Boards manage to find an attorney who will do what is not in the HOA's best interests.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


05/23/2017 12:12 PM  
Indeed they do – remember, the attorney gets paid regardless of what crazy path the Board decides to walk on, so the best he or she can do is advise against a certain action and explain why. Ethical attorneys will do this and others….won’t. In the end, the final decision is up to the Board and yes, some people pursue these sorts of things to make a point or send a message.

That's why I'm always encouraging people to pay attention to what the HOA board is doing and why - go to a few board meetings once in awhile, or at least the annual meeting, and LISTEN to what's being said. Read the meeting minutes and ask about anything you don't understand. I believe one should be able to go to any board member and ask about an issue and get complete and accurate information. If the board member voted against a certain proposal that’s fine, but he or she should be able to provide a coherent reason as to why. Board members should never say “well, I don’t know a lot about that, I wasn’t at that meeting.” If the board isn't doing what you want, talk to your neighbors and see what they think. If all of you agree, go to the meetings and demand answers - board members can always be voted out or even recalled. I didn't say it was easy and it won't be, but this is your home and you spent a lot of time and money in it, so what choice do you have?

In this case, Amelia’s real beef is with the HOA board. You may be right there’s greed and spite involved, but how do the other homeowners feel about all this? They may think you’re being petty and have encouraged the board to stand firm. However, if they think all this is a colossal waste of time and homeowner dollars (aka HOA assessments), I have to wonder why they didn’t rise up and sack this group and then come to some sort of settlement with you. Which is it – have you chatted with anyone to get some insight as to what they think?

Then again, are YOU pursuing all this to make a point about “HOA tyranny” and aren’t willing to pay the $30 to make this go away once and for all? Personally, I might consider paying IF the HOA promised in writing to leave me the hell alone (and perhaps everyone should sign it in blood to make it stick).

I don’t know what to tell you – if you believe in what you’re doing and can convince the judge, you won’t have to pay, but then what? You have a website complaining about this community and you may be right as rain – but if you’re truly fed up and want to move, you do realize that with this information out in the internet universe, it could impact your ability to sell your home, don’t you? Who wants to move into a hot mess, regardless of who or what caused it?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have sued them – I’m sorry that after all this it appears no one is willing to compromise. It also looks like arbitration was a failure, which is very disappointing because that’s supposed to help prevent even more bad feelings and money being put out. Oh, well.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


05/23/2017 12:54 PM  
I didn't sue them. They sued me for that $5,400. I'd pay the $30 but they appealed that.

Part of the reason for the website was to inform their members. In speaking to some of them, they said they had no idea this was going on. Others said they thought their HOA had "big wins" in this case.

My development can't go to their meetings, or vote, or anything like that.

Thank you for your thoughts.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2051


05/23/2017 1:46 PM  
Sheila

You should re-read the issue. The issue is that the defendant can't pay BECAUSE the Plaintiff has chosen to appeal the decision.

I have received a number of letter from my old HOA's attorneys. They all start out, " As you know our firm represents the so and so association". Unfortunately, that is not true, they represent the Board that hired them, and will do whatever for the almighty dollar. Sometimes you have to make decisions based on ethics and the right things to do.

Today, I terminated a relationship with one of my clients because they wanted me to do what they wanted and not what was legal.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


05/24/2017 7:36 AM  
You may think the HOA attorney represents the board, but when the attorney sues a homeowner on behalf of the association, the lawsuit doesn’t describe the plaintiffs as board members A, B, C, etc. Attorneys don’t work in a vacuum – somebody has to pay for them to do what they do and they take their direction from the board. Since the money comes from assessments that are paid by HOMEOWNERS, it’s up to the homeowners to pay attention to what the board’s doing and why.

Yes, ethics and doing what’s right should come into play when making decisions, but you also know that all of us (yep, that includes you) have the potential to shut our eyes and ears and do whatever because the dollar signs are too much to resist. Ego also drives us to keep driving towards a cliff because we’re right, dammit, and by the time we realize we’re not, it’s too late.

If I was in an HOA community when the board went after a homeowner for $5400 and only got $30 for their trouble – and they appealed it (WTF???), I’d speak up and remind them that maybe, just maybe, they’re totally wrong about this and need to stop, take a deep breath and ask themselves again what is the end game in all this. I, for one, am not inclined to spend my portion of assessment money on a lawsuit that doesn’t have at least an 80% chance of winning and the association recouping all its legal expenses and the judgment.

Then, I would definitely consider rallying together my neighbors to least compel them to grow up, sit down with Amelia and settle this like adults once and for all or drop it. Or get rid of them because they clearly don’t understand that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – when you lose, you accept it, learn from your mistakes and move on.

All that said, people make crazy decisions all the time and while it’s possible the HOA attorney is keeping this going for the money, it’s also possible he or she has tried to convince the board to let this go, they say hell no and here we are. It’s unfortunate Amelia has to go through all this nonsense because their board will not listen to reason.

But there’s hope – Amelia said she’s spoken to a few homeowners who didn’t know all this was going on or assumed the association had “big wins” ($30 isn’t a big win, in my opinion). Maybe now, they’ll start demanding answers from their board and stop spending association resources on a lost cause. If the board still doesn’t listen, they should get rid of them, because that’s probably the only way this will end.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


05/28/2017 7:03 AM  
In addition to the website I have added a big yard sign.

Much to my surprise a small number of the HOA members have stopped by to addressed their concerns about my case, and their own cases, to me. They are looking to restructure the whole thing on their end. They said they have been denied their voting rights and want the current board (and the attorney they have) out.

I've been amazed at the support. I thought I'd get a lot of mad people yelling at me over the yard sign. So far, not one.

The HOA members are looking to get together and go over the internal issues they have. From my point of view that is a sound idea.

On my end, the court is making the HOA attorney submit more motions to address more specifically why they are appealing. We will see where that goes.



LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


05/31/2017 12:37 PM  
It is going to cost you some money to hire an attorney, but you can do some ground work yourself by going to the county recorders office and getting copies of your plat and arial survey. You can also look into the title survey when you purchased your current property. Hire an attorney that that will send out some letters threatening legal action if they continue to pursue you.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/01/2017 9:46 AM  
Thank you for your thoughts. I've already did all of that and I've had an attorney for the entire thing.

They have pursued this for 7 years so we've been to Magistrate Court, Arbitration, the Court of Common Pleas, and now they want to go to the Superior Court. The HOA has been told by the judges that they are not entitled to what they want to charge.

Yet, they still pursue it.......
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/01/2017 9:48 AM  
I have a typo and I don't know how to edit it.

I've already done all of that, is what I meant. All the paperwork has been in order since 2011.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


06/01/2017 3:16 PM  
You can't edit a post here once you press "Submit".

I hope there's a legal avenue for you to recover all your legal costs and attorney fees.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


06/01/2017 11:20 PM  
Posted By AmeliaP on 05/23/2017 12:54 PM
I didn't sue them. They sued me for that $5,400. I'd pay the $30 but they appealed that.

Part of the reason for the website was to inform their members. In speaking to some of them, they said they had no idea this was going on. Others said they thought their HOA had "big wins" in this case.

My development can't go to their meetings, or vote, or anything like that.

Thank you for your thoughts.


Potentially (check with your attorney) I would send them a check for the $30 along with a letter sent "Certified Return Receipt" that per the Court Order XXX here is the money noted per the Court Case. I am paying this money only under the Court Order based on past (1966 Deed Clause and 1911 Eastment) and does not in any way shape or form admit that it is for payment of any HOA assessment as my property is not encumbered by any HOA Declaration of Covenants, Conditions or Restrictions. Potentially this will show that you have complied with a lower Court order and avoid them bringing up in future that you have not yet complied.

Hope they are having to pay your attorney fees. It is pretty ridiculous if CCR's are not attached to your property that they are pursuing such avenues.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


06/02/2017 12:01 PM  
This discussion has a fishy smell. I do not think the HOA arbitrarily decided to snatch up some neighboring homes. There is more to this then Amelia is saying.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2051


06/02/2017 4:04 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/02/2017 12:01 PM
This discussion has a fishy smell. I do not think the HOA arbitrarily decided to snatch up some neighboring homes. There is more to this then Amelia is saying.



You should read the news articles.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:552


06/02/2017 7:32 PM  
Yes, John read the facts posted on the OP's website, which says much more than can be posted here.

It is truly a horrific story and I will be following this.

To the OP, I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I cannot imagine the hell you have been through and you are not even a member of an HOA! Yikes!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


06/03/2017 5:23 AM  
What web site?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


06/03/2017 6:32 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/03/2017 5:23 AM
What web site?




Listed in the first post of this thread
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


06/03/2017 6:34 AM  
Amelia,

I hope you have been sending the $10 per year since the initial ruling.
If not, you may want to start doing so.

As far as the $30, your lawyer will be best to advise you on how to pay that.
At the very least, attempt to pay it with traceable means (certified mail, etc.).


Additionally, are you (or can you) counter sue for your legal expenses?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


06/03/2017 8:01 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 06/03/2017 6:32 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/03/2017 5:23 AM
What web site?




Listed in the first post of this thread




I am not seeing the name/link. What am I missing?

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7010


06/03/2017 8:20 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/03/2017 8:01 AM
Posted By TimB4 on 06/03/2017 6:32 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/03/2017 5:23 AM
What web site?




Listed in the first post of this thread




I am not seeing the name/link. What am I missing?





OOPS. My bad. I got it.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/04/2017 7:53 AM  
The only bills I've ever gotten from them are higher than the original $5,400 bill so I've never paid them. I've asked for an accurate up to date bill and I've never gotten one.

My apologies if I'm missing questions or comments. I do appreciate all the feedback.

I put up a yard sign and, much to my surprise, their own members came over to talk about the issues they have. There seems to be a lot of craziness going on over there.

One issue they say they have is voting fraud problems. I'm going to post about this separately too, but, does anyone here use a secure online voting site to manage their HOA voting?
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:552


06/04/2017 8:07 AM  
I have been trying to get my Association to engage online voting for over 7 years. It is permitted by Statute.

They sometimes say "they will look into it" but nothing ever comes of it. They simply refuse.

I believe that there is a very good reason why Associations do not employ online voting: it eliminates the possibility of fraudulent elections and removes the locus of control of ballot results.

AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/05/2017 7:15 AM  
GwenG - I doubt they will get the online voting without kicking up a big fuss, but, I threw it out there as a possible remedy for them so maybe they will run with it. It didn't seem like anyone had ever thought of that solution.

AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/08/2017 5:26 AM  
I added a video of the budget items they are appealing to make me pay for.
It's on the front page at the bottom. www.ShoholaPa.com

I'm waiting on the Concise Statement of Matters the court ordered. That was due by the 2nd so I should have that soon.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


06/08/2017 12:19 PM  
Posted By GwenG on 06/04/2017 8:07 AM
I have been trying to get my Association to engage online voting for over 7 years. It is permitted by Statute.

They sometimes say "they will look into it" but nothing ever comes of it. They simply refuse.

I believe that there is a very good reason why Associations do not employ online voting: it eliminates the possibility of fraudulent elections and removes the locus of control of ballot results.

I prefer the Occam's Razor approach. Associations don't use online voting because (a) they don't understand how it works, (b) you have to pay someone to administer the election (and put your trust in them), and (c) there's no easy way to convince owners that the vote was fair and impartial. I think the total costs of holding an online vote are not known until after you commit to it and it's too late to back out. This is what's scaring people away in my opinion.

I also think an association's Bylaws have to be changed to authorize electronic voting and not all association's are going to jump right on that just so they can make use of something they don't understand in the first place.

Unless you're willing to develop your own software you'll need to rely on someone else's. And that means another expense. We haven't even considered using it because (a) we don't even have a website because nobody wants to maintain it and (b) an online election would cost money and not solve any current problems. We have a lot of problems but the need for whatever it is that an online voting procedure would give us isn't one of them.

The legislation authorizing this in Florida was no doubt spurred on by someone who developed an online voting system for associations and then somehow bought a few state legislators to push it through.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2051


06/08/2017 12:29 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 06/08/2017 12:19 PM
Posted By GwenG on 06/04/2017 8:07 AM
I have been trying to get my Association to engage online voting for over 7 years. It is permitted by Statute.

They sometimes say "they will look into it" but nothing ever comes of it. They simply refuse.

I believe that there is a very good reason why Associations do not employ online voting: it eliminates the possibility of fraudulent elections and removes the locus of control of ballot results.

I prefer the Occam's Razor approach. Associations don't use online voting because (a) they don't understand how it works, (b) you have to pay someone to administer the election (and put your trust in them), and (c) there's no easy way to convince owners that the vote was fair and impartial. I think the total costs of holding an online vote are not known until after you commit to it and it's too late to back out. This is what's scaring people away in my opinion.

I also think an association's Bylaws have to be changed to authorize electronic voting and not all association's are going to jump right on that just so they can make use of something they don't understand in the first place.

Unless you're willing to develop your own software you'll need to rely on someone else's. And that means another expense. We haven't even considered using it because (a) we don't even have a website because nobody wants to maintain it and (b) an online election would cost money and not solve any current problems. We have a lot of problems but the need for whatever it is that an online voting procedure would give us isn't one of them.

The legislation authorizing this in Florida was no doubt spurred on by someone who developed an online voting system for associations and then somehow bought a few state legislators to push it through.



Geno,

Two points.

One, if Florida now allows, I would have to imagine that there is language in the statue that states, "unless the governing docs state otherwise", then Bylaws or governing docs wouldn't have to be changed.

Two, what if it does get people to vote where they might otherwise not. I have done electronic surveys with association and actually got better response than I did with owners returning paper ballots through the mail. If it doesn't work, go back to plan A or proceed with plan C and so forth.
PitA


Posts:0


06/08/2017 1:15 PM  
The key to this bru-ha-ha is this direct quote of the OP from their web-site:


​(Remember we didn't know about the easement or the covenant in our deed.)



They never actually read or understood their deed.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2051


06/08/2017 1:17 PM  
Posted By PitA on 06/08/2017 1:15 PM
The key to this bru-ha-ha is this direct quote of the OP from their web-site:


​(Remember we didn't know about the easement or the covenant in our deed.)



They never actually read or understood their deed.



Or, maybe it wasn't there???
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


06/08/2017 1:32 PM  
You're right, Richard. It appears that it's enough that a board pass a resolution to offer electronic voting to the members; no documents need to be amended.

I can definitely see how electronic elections over the internet could be a big benefit to some associations. The devil is in the details, however, and one of the required things a voting system must do in Florida is, "Permanently separate any authentication or identifying information from an electronic ballot for board elections, rendering it impossible to tie a ballot to a specific member."

I find that problematic. It's akin to removing an inner ballot envelope (with no identifying information) from an outer enveloper (with identifying information). Under the watchful eye of vote counters, envelopes and ballots can be scrutinized carefully. In an electronic system, who is going to be responsible for ensuring that the integrity of a ballot is preserved once the identifying information is permanently separated from it?

These systems are going to have more security holes in them than swiss cheese unless they're designed and implemented properly, and steps are taken to safeguard their integrity. While one might expect their "electronic vote vendor" to provide that, I wouldn't trust them or it for a second. These systems are easy pickings for bad guys and that probably includes some CAMs and attorneys who have a vested interest in the election.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:552


06/08/2017 1:46 PM  
Here is the statute: It states in detail the things the Association must do. Nothing is rocket science. The board must only pass a resolution for electronic voting; the bylaws do not need to be changed.

There are many associations who have employed electronic voting and have stated the cost to be around $700-1000 for a typical election. This is FAR less than our 800 member HOA spends on mailing ballot "packages" to Canada (2/3 members)and to stateside members (1/3).

Associations do not need to employ any "monitors" as the electronic voting is designed to be secure and people vote from their home computers using unique signin ID. The associations who have utilized it report "record" voter turnouts. It gives Associations who have difficulty with quorums or vote thresholds a chance to pass amendments to the more superior governing documents, whereas, it is nearly impossible to do in person and paper ballots. It virtually eliminates the opportunity for ballot tampering, which has all but destroyed confidence in the voting system in my HOA. It releases Boards from the cloud of suspicion of manipulating ballot results.

This is a "follow the bouncing ball" administrative task that Managers should be able to conduct without much guidance; it can be done largely by email because most people use email these days.

Electronic voting would also make it much easier for a member-organized director recall. That might also be a sticking point for Associations, but if directors behave themselves, it seems there are many more advantages than downsides to electronic voting.

Here is the statute FS720:

720.317 Electronic voting.—The association may conduct elections and other membership votes through an Internet-based online voting system if a member consents, in writing, to online voting and if the following requirements are met:
(1) The association provides each member with:
(a) A method to authenticate the member’s identity to the online voting system.
(b) A method to confirm, at least 14 days before the voting deadline, that the member’s electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system.
(c) A method that is consistent with the election and voting procedures in the association’s bylaws.
(2) The association uses an online voting system that is:
(a) Able to authenticate the member’s identity.
(b) Able to authenticate the validity of each electronic vote to ensure that the vote is not altered in transit.
(c) Able to transmit a receipt from the online voting system to each member who casts an electronic vote.
(d) Able to permanently separate any authentication or identifying information from the electronic election ballot, rendering it impossible to tie an election ballot to a specific member. This paragraph only applies if the association’s bylaws provide for secret ballots for the election of directors.
(e) Able to store and keep electronic ballots accessible to election officials for recount, inspection, and review purposes.
(3) A member voting electronically pursuant to this section shall be counted as being in attendance at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum.
(4) This section applies to an association that provides for and authorizes an online voting system pursuant to this section by a board resolution. The board resolution must provide that members receive notice of the opportunity to vote through an online voting system, must establish reasonable procedures and deadlines for members to consent, in writing, to online voting, and must establish reasonable procedures and deadlines for members to opt out of online voting after giving consent. Written notice of a meeting at which the board resolution regarding online voting will be considered must be mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the unit owners and posted conspicuously on the condominium property or association property at least 14 days before the meeting. Evidence of compliance with the 14-day notice requirement must be made by an affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and filed with the official records of the association.
(5) A member’s consent to online voting is valid until the member opts out of online voting pursuant to the procedures established by the board of administration pursuant to subsection (4).
(6) This section may apply to any matter that requires a vote of the members.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


06/08/2017 3:11 PM  
All of those reasons are good ones, Gwen, I don't dispute that. Especially when there are a lot of offsite owners.

How about, "A method that is consistent with the election and voting procedures in the association’s bylaws."? Is electronic voting consistent with the association's bylaws? Maybe, maybe not.

I think an electronic voting system has to be much, much more than just sending emails. I don't think emails satisfy (1)(a), (2)(a), (2)(b), (2)(c) or (2)(d). I get emails purporting to be from other board members several times a week that clearly were not sent by them. They have malware on their computers or someone else has broken into their email accounts or somehow found out their passwords. Relying on email for "authentication" of any sort is foolish. I suppose we'll have to wait for the DBPR to arbitrate some electronic election disputes until the problem becomes clear.

I could be worrying too much about this but Target, Chipotle, JPMorgan Chase, Anthem, TJ Maxx, NASDAQ, etc.... they didn't worry enough. 43% of all companies had data breaches between 2013 and 2014 and the vast majority had a root cause of employee negligence.

FAC 61B-23.00211 says, "For elections, electronic votes shall not be accessible to the association prior to the scheduled election. Failure to comply with this subsection will void the election."

Who, then, does have access to the votes before the election? The same management company that many owners think are in cahoots with the board? The same attorney that works hand-in-hand with shady boards to keep them in power? Vinnie Boombatz (aka Hax4U)?

Sorry, getting far afield of the original topic. I'll stop
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


06/09/2017 6:17 AM  
The easement was in a 1911 deed. It gets mentioned again in my 1966 deed but we never saw any of that in the title search report. I guess it wasn't a specific type of search that looks for that stuff.

It doesn't matter really since the judges agree with me. The only people that don't agree with how the deeds read are the HOA board members and/or their attorney. I'm not sure who is pushing it.

Has anyone ever been on a board where you had these old deed issues? I'm just wondering how it all got handled.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:552


06/09/2017 7:36 AM  
I am curious; what did your title company insured you for? Did you get an attorney opinion on the title search?

Maybe there are some brainiacs on real estate law on this forum that can explain why the title company is not involved in this dispute if they insured the marketability of the title. (I don't think there is any question that marketability has been affected adversely by the actions of the association hounds from hell.)

MRTA laws, which have been enacted in almost half the states, ignore these old deeds from title searches. They are simply null and void after 30 years (in FL) unless they have been preserved and specifically mentioned with their recording details cited on a subsequent title transfer document.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


07/27/2017 8:28 AM  
I didn't go the title insurance route because we aren't part of their HOA.

The Court of Common Pleas Judge just wrote up his response to their appeal (that is part of normal procedure) where he addresses the point they appealed on. Among other things he very plainly stated "...Defendants were not and are not part of Plaintiff...".

We are the Defendants - The HOA is the Plaintiff

We've known that all along but it was nice to see someone at that level back us up.

You'd think they'd drop their Superior Court appeal but that is not the case so far. They are just trying to run us out of money so we give up in my opinion.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


07/27/2017 8:32 AM  
Counter sue for attorney fees
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


07/27/2017 8:47 AM  
A counter suit is in the works.

I was trying to post the Judge's comments but it keeps giving me an error so I'll paraphrase some of it.

The Judge says the appeal should be dismissed because it is fatally flawed since they are not following the proper procedure. The Judge also said they unfairly inflated their assessments when they "billed" us because they testified that they base the assessments on the number of owners who pay and not the actual number of owners or lots.

Funny thing about that is two months after that testimony by the HOA President he is quoted in a news article on my case saying everyone pay except us.

We filed a Motion to Quash with the Superior Court.





GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:552


07/27/2017 9:59 AM  
I have read the documents you posted on your website and am following your case with interest. Thank you for sharing such detail.
CarlJ2
(Texas)

Posts:165


07/27/2017 12:07 PM  
Posted By GwenG on 07/27/2017 9:59 AM
I have read the documents you posted on your website and am following your case with interest. Thank you for sharing such detail.





What Gwen said, thank you for sharing. I'll also watch with interest.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


07/28/2017 7:45 AM  
You're welcome, and thank you for having an interest.

The HOA had misrepresented the facts (to my neighbors and their members) in this case so much that I felt it needed to be more public.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


08/02/2017 1:46 PM  
Ok, well now we are going to the Commonwealth Court because the HOA filed their appeal in the wrong court and they didn't submit the explanation which was requested by the Superior Court.

The HOA also appears to be trying to get the appeal done without ever paying for the non-jury trial transcripts which, from what I understand, are a procedural requirement for Appellants.

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/02/2017 7:31 PM  
Posted By AmeliaP on 08/02/2017 1:46 PM
Ok, well now we are going to the Commonwealth Court because the HOA filed their appeal in the wrong court and they didn't submit the explanation which was requested by the Superior Court.

The HOA also appears to be trying to get the appeal done without ever paying for the non-jury trial transcripts which, from what I understand, are a procedural requirement for Appellants.

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen.


YEP ... BEYOND DUMB. So the HOA is spending $$$ on attorney fees over a lousy $30 ... which is beyond stupid. Be sure to note in your documents filed that you want to be reimbursed your attorney fees. LOL .. and this is after the Court has already determined you are NOT a part of the HOA. Where are these HOA members who are eating this $$$ BS for more attorney fees??? I would be jumping up and down screaming and replacing my BOD.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/02/2017 7:34 PM  
Maybe you should go around knocking on some doors and having discussions with the HOA members. Maybe the HOA has such apathy that the members are not aware of the situation and how much it is costing them.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


08/02/2017 7:38 PM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/02/2017 7:31 PM
Where are these HOA members who are eating this $$$ BS for more attorney fees??? I would be jumping up and down screaming and replacing my BOD.




Janet,

Keep in mind that you would have read documents, financial reports and asked questions.

Most members don't.

I would expect that the legal expenses are shown on the Associations balance sheet or income & expense statement provided to members at the annual meeting. If asked why the expense, the response is likely very simple: Collection efforts. This satisfies 90% or more of those who attended the meeting and cared enough about the info to ask questions.


I stated this before. When I ran for the Board I thought I knew what the issues were. Once elected, I really found out what the issues were.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:6789


08/02/2017 7:48 PM  
Just curious... How are you determining your NOT a member of this HOA? Title search isn't going to find this information. The information you are looking for is at the records department of your county courthouse. The documents are public. You need to take a trip to the court house to see if you have any CC&R's there. It should ONLY strengthen your case to have their CC&R's proving you don't fall into their lines/control. Plus you can use their own words against them. However, you may be surprised as well to find out you are to be a HOA member.

So far in your post I had not seen any solid proof your are or are not in the HOA. Don't think you've gotten the proper proof. Which would be the CC&R's of that HOA.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14861


08/02/2017 8:13 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 08/02/2017 7:48 PM

Just curious... How are you determining your NOT a member of this HOA?




Melissa,

If you read the postings a court of law said they are not part of the HOA.

Posted By AmeliaP on 07/27/2017 8:28 AM

The Court of Common Pleas Judge just wrote up his response to their appeal (that is part of normal procedure) where he addresses the point they appealed on. Among other things he very plainly stated "...Defendants were not and are not part of Plaintiff...".

We are the Defendants - The HOA is the Plaintiff






If interested, a web site was listed in the very first posting of this thread. That site has all the documents.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/02/2017 9:17 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 08/02/2017 7:38 PM
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/02/2017 7:31 PM
Where are these HOA members who are eating this $$$ BS for more attorney fees??? I would be jumping up and down screaming and replacing my BOD.


Janet,

Keep in mind that you would have read documents, financial reports and asked questions.

Most members don't.

I would expect that the legal expenses are shown on the Associations balance sheet or income & expense statement provided to members at the annual meeting. If asked why the expense, the response is likely very simple: Collection efforts. This satisfies 90% or more of those who attended the meeting and cared enough about the info to ask questions.


I stated this before. When I ran for the Board I thought I knew what the issues were. Once elected, I really found out what the issues were.


YEP ... And which is why I asked where are they??? This has been going on for some time (potentially at least couple of years) and I am sure the owners have received their annual financial reports. If they are not potentially jumping up and down screaming ... then I guess they get what they deserve. Will be interesting to see if in the future we have the HOA and owners asking why they have had to pay these fees ... LOL.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


08/03/2017 6:49 AM  
Some of their members have some apathy about this. Some are supportive of us openly, and, some are supportive of us quietly.

My impression is that they are getting false info about how much it is costing them but I can't change that if that is the case. I did make sure that the vast majority of them are informed of the website because we will be counter suing so I think it is important that they have the opportunity to see the issues for themselves and make changes in their pursuit of this case if they so choose.

Based on the budgets (and the Judge supported us on this claim) they aren't collecting assessments from quite a few of their own members. They are also not suing them. I have a feeling that that group of non payers is the apathetic bunch and just hoping to keep the status quo.

I have 25 new yard signs to go out this week. One of the perks of owning a successful construction company for over 15 years is that a lot of your happy customers are willing to let you put signs in their yards.

Aside from that I have some new things to put on the updates page later today and, if you haven't seen it, I put the videos all on a new page Vlog page. I also started a Facebook page for this.

Thank you for following this. It's been a crazy long road and I'm hoping to get this wrapped up soon with the Commonwealth Court.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/09/2017 8:11 PM  
Know the feeling ... We had a USDA Grantee developer who violated many State and Federal Laws and the local city ignored and looked the other way so they could more quickly collect their utility tap fees. I told all of them I hope you are not wanting to further your political careers. LOL ... so far two who wanted to further their political careers have been smashed. Yep ... if you cannot protect your local small town citizens from criminals then it is a cold day before you should run for Mayor or County Commissioner. The State Senator BARELY squeaked by with a win ... since his party controls the state. However, his barely win means his party members are now understanding more that he is a snake and I will get him next go around. In meantime I am going after the Federal Grantees tax $$$ they get. I think they are finally understanding I was the LAST person they should have criminally violated. That violation has cost them a lot of money they did not expect to expend and will hurt their future grant opportunities. It is one thing to just hurt me ... however, when you engage in activities that harm my family, friends, neighbors, and community at large ... sorry I have a HUGE problem with that.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


08/23/2017 4:53 PM  
It's a little bit crazy isn't it JanetB2?

My case is being pushed over to the Commonwealth Court because the HOA appealed to the wrong court. I'm waiting to see what the HOA does with this. They have until the 28th of this month to submit briefs.

Here is the latest news article on my case: http://riverreporter.com/news-news-stories/shohola-property-rights-legal-battle
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/25/2017 2:22 AM  
Posted By AmeliaP on 08/23/2017 4:53 PM
It's a little bit crazy isn't it JanetB2?

My case is being pushed over to the Commonwealth Court because the HOA appealed to the wrong court. I'm waiting to see what the HOA does with this. They have until the 28th of this month to submit briefs.

Here is the latest news article on my case: http://riverreporter.com/news-news-stories/shohola-property-rights-legal-battle


IMO ... when they appealed to the wrong court it should have been thrown out. They should have then been made to appeal to the correct court. LOL ... but our judicial system is now a JOKE and full of BS. It seems now everybody looks the other way when laws are violated.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:438


08/25/2017 1:37 PM  
You have real reason to be concerned. Other homes have been foreclosed on because of owing money to this HOA, right?

Be careful.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1633


08/25/2017 9:25 PM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/25/2017 2:22 AM
It seems now everybody looks the other way when laws are violated.

Liberty and justice for some.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


08/25/2017 9:44 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 08/25/2017 9:25 PM
Posted By JanetB2 on 08/25/2017 2:22 AM
It seems now everybody looks the other way when laws are violated.

Liberty and justice for some.

LOL ... So true!
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


08/26/2017 8:54 AM  
The foreclosures by me are via the banks when people gave up or couldn't afford to fight the HOA lawsuits and pay their mortgages. Only one of the properties was taken by the HOA. That is one to many, but, those are the facts.

I have to say that the court decisions I have gotten are very good. The process of getting those decisions is a load of crap since there should be a stop mechanism at some point when they are using Planned Community Act and that doesn't apply to me.

Honestly, I should have counter-sued a long time ago but I really never thought they would pursue me this far. I originally figured it would die off after they were told they were wrong about my obligation to them and it didn't make any sense to kick up a big fuss over what I thought was just a misunderstanding.

I used to be kind a naive about that I guess. I've come to believe that it was never a misunderstanding but really more of a personal vendetta, property grab, or money scam type of thing.

I always try to live my life with dignity and I assumed most other people did the same thing. I appear to have been quite wrong about that.

DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


08/28/2017 3:36 AM  
Posted By AmeliaP on 08/26/2017 8:54 AM
The foreclosures by me are via the banks when people gave up or couldn't afford to fight the HOA lawsuits and pay their mortgages. Only one of the properties was taken by the HOA. That is one to many, but, those are the facts.

I have to say that the court decisions I have gotten are very good. The process of getting those decisions is a load of crap since there should be a stop mechanism at some point when they are using Planned Community Act and that doesn't apply to me.

Honestly, I should have counter-sued a long time ago but I really never thought they would pursue me this far. I originally figured it would die off after they were told they were wrong about my obligation to them and it didn't make any sense to kick up a big fuss over what I thought was just a misunderstanding.

I used to be kind a naive about that I guess. I've come to believe that it was never a misunderstanding but really more of a personal vendetta, property grab, or money scam type of thing.

I always try to live my life with dignity and I assumed most other people did the same thing. I appear to have been quite wrong about that.




That is exactly how it sounds. Personal vendetta. It's hard to believe that anyone would be so strong-headed/stupid so as to pursue something this far on the basis of belief that they're right.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


09/07/2017 5:11 AM  
I was surprised that the latest appeal happened after the death of the president. I had been under the impression that he was the one pushing this for his own purposes. He passed away and the new president (prior vice president) pushed the appeal. So.....it's likely then a collective board vendetta, or, the attorney is behind it. I don't know the answer to that.

Anyway, I have an update for the website later today but since I was last on here the HOA has applied to withdraw their appeal. I'm not terribly surprised since they knew they didn't have a case and their manner with handling the appeal was ....... insufficient. They were just using the system to try to punish me IMHO.

I'm trying to put together the information on what the situation is going forward so that will be my update for today.

Basically it looks like: no assessments (ever), they can try the "easement maintenance fee" angle but that holds no water since there has never been an easement maintenance fee since 1911, they can bill me the $10 a year from 2013 to date ($50) and that is all.

My counter suits are now in the works.



CarlJ2
(Texas)

Posts:165


09/07/2017 5:34 AM  
Thank you for the continued updates, Ameila. Sounds like things are turning your way on the whole.
AmeliaP
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:24


10/02/2017 11:28 AM  
I posted the Judge's decision and the explanation of that decision on the front page of the website. The Superior Court transferred the case to the Commonwealth Court and that court closed the docket because of the motion to withdraw. So that part is done and my case is now case law for my county.

I saw my attorney today and asked him to get a bill from them - from the beginning of time to date - to close out this issue. Per the judge I owe $30 total, but the last bill I saw was for like $8,900 so.....I'm not guessing here. I want it all on the up and up. Hopefully that won't take long.

What a stupid stupid issue. It's really not that hard to be a decent human being and do what is right by your neighbors and in your community IMHO.
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