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Subject: HOA President gone overboard
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JulieR2


Posts:0


11/11/2010 2:12 PM  
I need help, I own a condo in Palm Springs CA, and our Hoa President has gone off the deep end, he has fired the management company, his bestfriend is treasurer, this man has taken complete control over everything. He continually follows me around the property looking for anything to fine me for, like using the wrong trash bags in dumpster, using the gate code rather then the gate clicker, which he himself sells for 50 bucks each. He knocks on all doors asking tenants and owner for a list of all occupants, and gives rules as to whom they may have as visitors and how many visitors. If you speak up at a meeting it's a fine, if your cell phone rings during a meeting it's a fine, if you leave your garage door open for more then 5 minutes it's a fine. He has put up infrared cameras, very small ones so no one will notice, and only he views them, and places cameras wherever he feels like watching, let me add he does not live on the property, his cameras are placed at one of his rental units. He rents out units while they are in foreclosure and collects rent until bank takes over. He recectly hired two rough looking guys to play security guard for 5 days just to intimidate people and guard the front gate and watch for those using gate code and not clicker and issue fines, and also he ran everyones license plate and then their names to see if they had a valid drivers license, if they did not these guys he hired were told to stop these people before they entered the gate and call the local police and advise then that they are currently detaining someone that is driving without a license. I have seen his car driving around and around at all hours of the night, I have seen him creeping along the first floor windows at 3:30 am, He is continually calling the police on someone for anything, he discusses everyones business with everyone else. After a meeting my mother and him had a little arguement and he spat in her face, in front of many other people. He issues parking fines continually but he himself parks in fire lanes, guest parking, in front of his garage, wherever he wants. He threatens renters with the towing of their cars if their HOA fees are not paid, this is the owners problem not the tenants. He issued a new rule about guest, all guests must be approved through him, so if we bring a guest back to our place at 1 am we must first call him and approve it. He files restraing orders on anyone who goes against him. At this point I don't feel comfortable leaving my own home for fear of what he will do next. When and if an auto is broken into he calls police and informs them just who he thinks it is, and points the finger at whoever he is mad at at that time. There is no talking to this man, no reasoning with him, and just about everyone is afraid of what he is capable of doing, he cuts off our gate access, pool privileges, laudry room use, and issues countless and I mean coutless amounts of fines if your on his bad side. It's truly scary, at times I feel like if I walk out my front door I may be arrested for something he claims I did just out of spite, so I have lately taken to staying home and not leaving my house. What a shame, to live like this all due to one over zealous person. This is his life, he loives control, he loves power, he loves authority, and this is his domain, and what the hell can we do about it? Any advice would be appreciated, but I seriously cannot afford what it would cost to hire private counsel. So I am really left with no choice am I? I have to just deal with it. I am a single female and it's scary to think there are people out there like this, but there are. And somehow they have been given all this power and it's sad cause there is not a thing we can do about it, without reprocutions. And of course fines, let's not forget fines, oh yea and if we take him to court we have to pay him a 200 dollar fine cause he has to attend court, it takes him away from his domain so we must pay him, Imagine that!
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


11/11/2010 2:30 PM  
Is there a board in control or is he a one man show?

What do the other homeowners think?

HOW can he levy fines? By what authority? Let him take you to court. Let him explain his actions to a judge.

I am so sorry that you are so intimidated in your own home.

GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/11/2010 2:36 PM  
Julie, first off please break your posts into paragraphs, a lot of people won't read them in one big block. That out of the way, if the president is the Declarant and the HOA is still under his control there is little you can do until the HOA is turned over to the homeowners.

If transition has occurred the the simplest way to get rid of him is to recall him and vote someone else in. In addition to your CC&R's you need to become familiar with the Davis-Stirling Act which regulates HOA's in California. davis-stirling.com is a website run by attorneys who specialize in DS Act. It takes the law and explains it in layman's term by categories like fines. It explains the hoops the HOA has to jump through to fine and how to protest the fine.

Bottom line you will have this "tyrant" as long as you and your neighbors are willing to put up with him. Get together and use the law to boot him out.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
JulieR2


Posts:0


11/11/2010 2:40 PM  
He is basically a one man show, the 2 other board members do as he says. I feel unsafe, in my own home. So many other owners feel the same way but are so afraid to go up against him for fear of large fines, loss of priviledges, loss of voting rights, towing of cars etc...It's crazy this man has taken total control of this entire association and no one seems to be able to do anythng about it, with the exemption of pay the high cost of an attorney which I myself at this point cannot afford. I just paid $335.00 to get my car out of inpound cause the HOA president had it towed while I was unloading luggage in front of my own garage, even advised the tow driver how to enter property without being seen, apparently according to tow truck driver, that if they are in the middle of hooking your car up while on private proprty and the owner of vehicle appears they are not allowed to persue the tow they must release vehicle to owner, so this guy tells them how to get on the property with out being seen, therefore getting off of preperty safely with my car, 4 hours cost me 335.00. His reason for towing has changed 4 times, so I served him with papers to small claims court, and now I have to pay him 200 dollars to go to court, what is really going on in this world?
JonD1


Posts:0


11/11/2010 3:23 PM  
Julie:

Just how did this man get into theis position? Was he voted in?

By whom? And what was your role in his getting to be President?? Anything?


If he makes up rules and you abide by them shame on you and the other residents of the property.

If you filed a claim against him seeking to be repaid for the towing of your car he is not now entitled to $200 from you because HE says so. If you pay that fee you are a fool.

Yes he might make you uncomfortable but you have two options you either allow this to continue and live in fear or do something about it.


So he runs around as President or YOUR property and that of your neighbors and everyone hides and shakes.

IF what you say is true he needs to go, he needs to be gone.


And I'm sorry there is no magical answer here for you other than YOU have to take some action to change things or accept things as they are.

My concern if I were you would be what is he doing that you are NOT aware of?

With your property's finances? In light of his public behavior what is he capable of in private when no one else bothers to find out or is to scared to find out.

Good luck.

GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/11/2010 4:41 PM  
I'm sorry but my Bravo Sierra detector is going off. Just how much luggage were you unloading that the man was able to call the tow company, get a wrecker there and hook you up? Irrespective of that; the things you claim he is doing are against Davis Stirling and all you have to do is get your neighbors together and vote him out. Oh yeah, you'll also need to find someone willing to step up and take his place.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
NoelleC3


Posts:0


11/11/2010 5:25 PM  
What about voting him out? DO your cc&rs allow for this? Ready up on them... and see. If majority of homeonwer's feel as you do, it's not difficult to do and can be done withing a month's time. ( not much time for fine happy Sam to hit the ticketing meter... some peeps are so freaky weird )
JulieR2


Posts:0


11/11/2010 5:39 PM  
He owns 8 units so he gets the majority of the votes, the other units the ones that are not able to pay their HOA fee's are also voting for him, in exchange he does not hassle them over the fees not being paid. The board consists of him, his bestfriend who is treasurer, and some other guy whom I have never seen who is always at the meetings by way of telephone. Right after he became president he fired the Management company, got rid of some others on the board and became a one man show, he runs it all. If I have to register my car with the association I have to speak to him, if my garage roof leaks I have to speak to him, if I need to buy a clicker for the gate I have to speak to him, if I want to have a guest visit I have to get his approval before they are allowed on the property, if I do not do this and he sees someone on his camera he is not familiar with then it's a fine. If their car is parked in guest parking without his permission it's a fine. Etc.
NoelleC3


Posts:0


11/11/2010 6:06 PM  
Julie, my heart goes out to you. BUT! Your President only has as much power as you allow him..... How many units are in your hoa? 8 would hardly constitute a majority in most unless they were small..

Also, some of this guys approaches are completely against DSA. I'd suggest if possible, getting an attorney if need be for some of these fraudulent fines.. It's amazing how the 6 letter LAWYER gets people to stay on the straight and narrow. GO and have people over without his permission, wait for the fine letter, then take it up to your or threaten too. It might just curb your hungery little presssie.

I'd also suggest you get in touch with the others in your HOA.... there are powers in numbers........ and beleive me, if you are not the only squeaky wheel then it can be fixed.


But other than that I am not sure what HOA TALK can offer you if you are not willing to ante' up and get involved and get others in place. Removal can be done... and if you are accruate, your president has broken a few laws, but nothing can be done if YOU dont' do anything.
MaryA1
(Arizona)

Posts:388


11/12/2010 8:42 AM  
Julie,

After reading your missive, all I can say is that I am appalled and mostly at the members for putting up with this guy. You are living in a banana republic run by a dictatorial tyrant and as long as the members put up with this kind of living he will continue his rampage on your lives. You all need to band together and do something about this.

The first step is to gather a group of members and sit down to review the CCRs and bylaws. You need to know what rights the members have and also what violations of the gov docs have been perpetrated by him. Also become familiar with the Davis-Stirling Act which is the state law that governs HOAs. It can be accessed at: www.davis-stirling.com Click on "Davis-Stirling Act". Pay close attention to Article 4, Operating Rules. Note that "disciplinary action" means imposing fines or penaltiesfor violating the CCRs. Also look at 1363(g) and (h) which talks about a fine policy and imposing fines and the Open Meeting Law, 1363.05. You need to know what state laws he's also violated.

The next step would be to confront the other two board members and demand that they remove him from the office of Pres. If they are unwilling to do this then let them know there will be a recall and they will be included. Also let them know they will be included in the lawsuit that will be forthcoming.

A meeting with an HOA attorney would be a good thing. Most will give a free consultation. Have all your notes with you and outline all the violations of the gov docs and state law that he's committed. Let the attorney know where the other two board members stand. Ask if a lawsuit can be brought against him and perhaps the other two board members even after they've been recalled. Also ask if in the lawsuit a demand to recover fines can be made.

Check your gov docs to find out if recalling board members is outlined. If so, the procedure needs to be followed to a tee. If your gov docs are silent on a recall, post a msg here and we can tell you what steps to take.

Organize a meeting of the homeowners to discuss the situation. Let them know what you and your group have found out. Discuss the lawsuit and a recall. Ask the members who have been fined if they would be willing to appear as a witness in court. Let them know that the lawsuit may demand a recovery of fines illegally imposed. If there is not a fine policy and the members have not been informed of all these new rules that he is fining for then that is a violation of D-S and may also be a violation of your gov docs.

Good luck!
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/06/2011 12:29 PM  
Well I am back for more advice. I read all your replies and believe me I tried it all. So many owners that live here are scared of this man. I have received emails from owners that live on the property telling me they feel for me they know what I am going through, they themselves have been through it, but they can't get involved for fear of what he will do to make their lives difficult.

Since my last post, I have been served papers for to more meetings with the board ( myself and 4 other members got similiar letters to appear before the board) The first meeting we were given a fine of $400, $200 for refusing a registered letter, apparently a registered letter went to my dads house, when it came he was not home so my brother refused it, we were given a fine of $200 for that refusal. Another fine I was seen with my dog returning home (I had just picked her up from the vet from being fixed) and walking through the complex with her to my unit, she was on a leash. According to the president he issued a new rule for me , that my dog was not allowed out of the unit before midnight, if she was seen out of the unit before midnight we would be fined. This was news to me.

The second meeting was last night, this meeting was for an email to other owners my father had sent out, apparently it is not allowed and another fine was issued. Also apparently the president got a few complaints saying that some of my guests were seen hanging out in the parking lot and tires were slashed. Although this was supposably witnessed, in his letter informing us of this meeting he stated that these witnesses do not need to come forward, or names be known, that he has gathered enough information and facts himself to find these accusation true.How this is possible I don't know since on the date he claims I had guests seen in the parking lot then entering my unit I was out of town in San Francisco. We did not get more then 10 minutes into the meeting and it was out of hand, he would not let any of us speak, everytime we tried to he yelled that it was a fine, he finally got up and walked out, and on his way out the door he stopped and got right in my face and told me " I will get your a** if it's the last f****** thing I do".

This man just bought another unit last week, and while doing the repairs on (repairs being done by nonlicensed contractors and himself) the unit, he was adding a shed to the outside sundeck (against CC&R'S) that would house a washer and dryer (also against the CC&R's) and while installing the outlets for the washer and dryer he hit some kind of pipe and flooded out the entire unit below him. We had a contract with a Laundry Co. they gave the association $10,000.00 for signing a new contract with them and because the president installed washers and dryers in units for other owners in violation of our contract with the Laundry Co. while he was the President of the Association, we as owners through our association, are now required to repay around $7,000.00 dollars to them for violating our contract with them. Meanwhile, he pockets all the money for the installations. We have renters that he rents washers and dryers to and charges them $50 a month for the use of them in their unit, he gets that money also.

I aslo learned that he makes money another way. Let's says the comples need a new lock on one of the storage sheds, he will go to Home Depot and buy 10 locks,use the associations money to buy them, use the one lock that we needed and then turns around and returns the remaining 9 locks and asks that the refund be returned in the form of a gift card, and he keeps that for hmself.

What can we possibly do, there is only himself and his bestfriend on the board, there is never more then the two of them. I filed a small claim for the towing of my car, and he informed me last night that I will be billed for all his attorney fees, because he is going to the attorney for advice on the claim and he will bill it to me.

Can someone please give me the exact steps it takes to remove this man from the board. There is 106 units, he owns 9 now. Most owners live off the property, but right this minute without having to go outside the porperty I have 10 owners wanting him off the board. There are police reports on file of this man attacking residents, one of them he had a shovel in his hand. The property management company that he fired, there is a police report from an incident at their office where he chased an employee through the parking lot into her supervisors office and was verbally abusive and threatening.

I don't have the money to pay for the legal cost to take it all to court. Today I am going to the police department to ask for a temporary restraining order until something is done about this man. But I need advice on the exact steps I would need to do to remove this man from the board, of course without the help of any of the other board members.

Thanks
PjW
(Virginia)

Posts:71


03/06/2011 1:15 PM  
Have you thought about just going to the police just for the harassment aspect of this? Some of it seems like stalking to me.

Other then that get maybe get the state involved or even the city involved - I don't know if this is something CA has but in VA some city's have a neighborhood services department to the state as a Common Interest Community Board.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


03/06/2011 2:47 PM  
Look at your docs, bring them to a lawyer if you have to. Set up a meeting with the other homeowners and get them to vote him out. Maybe elect a new board if you have to. WORK TOGETHER to get him out. Once you get control, use a violation to see he never gets elected again due to breach of fiduciary duty.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/06/2011 6:42 PM  
Julie,

How many units does your HOA have?

Rob
BarbaraB10
(California)

Posts:117


03/06/2011 6:48 PM  
Posted By JulieR2 on 03/06/2011 12:29 PM
. . . .

Can someone please give me the exact steps it takes to remove this man from the board. There is 106 units, he owns 9 now. . . . .




Easy to overlook.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/06/2011 7:13 PM  
Sorry, absolutely right - he does not own a majority of the units, and therefore does not have control of the community - he only has control of the board of directors.

Julie,

I'm going to say a few things that are not my opinion, but are based on California civil code that provides for remedies for this sort of problem. The remedies require some bold action, and the threat of listening to this person bluster and attempt to intimidate you and - wait for it - FOUR OTHER HOMEOWNERS.

The president can be removed as a director, which effectively removes him from the office of president. How?

In California, it only takes a petition, signed by 5% of the total voting power of the association, to start a director recall process. The petition can call for the removal of one or more directors. In your case, if you do indeed have 109 units, all you need is 5 signatures to submit a recall petition. The board then has 20 days to set the special meeting at which the ballots are counted, and the meeting must be held no sooner than 30 days, nor longer than 90 days, after the board receives the valid petition.

If the board fails to set a special meeting date within the 20 day period, guess what? You and the other signers of the petition can set the date yourselves.

Alternatively, you can gather support by talking to people privately, and mob the next board meeting, and demand that the president resign. You do not need to argue about it, or even provide reasons. If he refuses to resign, follow through with the recall campaign.

Before you talk to any of your neighbors about this, arm yourself with knowledge. Read all about member-driven director recalls in California HOAs here:

http://www.davis-stirling.com/MainIndex/RecallMenu/tabid/450/Default.aspx

There are even sample recall petitions available there.

Don't lose heart: The law is on your side.


Rob

BonnieG1
(Nebraska)

Posts:1186


03/06/2011 7:42 PM  
Julie please read your documents. I live in a condominium. Our Master Deed states that if owners who own 25% of the property petition for a special meeting to remove a Board member, a meeting needs to be called. But only one issue can be addressed at the meeting. In your case it would be to vote this man out with a replacement ready. And I thought we had problems with one person being in complete control. Ours was a Sunday School picnic compared to yours.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/06/2011 8:21 PM  
In California, it's only 5%. And a candidate does not have to be declared prior to the meeting.

Rob
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/06/2011 10:15 PM  
Hi Julie,

The information you need is here.

I'll try to summarize the steps, having just gone through this process in my HOA here in California.

First, gather information. What follows is some important facts about California HOAs. This information comes from the California civil code, specifically the Davis-Stirling Act, which is the section of code that deals specifically with HOAs. And unlike states like Florida, there are not separate sets of laws for condominiums and HOAs - all California CIDs (common interest developments) are HOAs (home owner associations), and they may consist of single family dwellings, town houses or condos.

The Davis-Stirling act trumps any more restrictive rules your governing documents may have concerning recall procedures. For example, your bylaws may say that a recall petition must be signed by 20% of the total voting power of the association, while Davis-Stirling requires only 5%. Davis-Stirling prevails, so it's 5%.

1) Total voting power means the total number of votes as specified in your bylaws and CC&Rs. This is typically one vote per unit, regardless of the total number of people with financial interests in any part of the property. In other words, 5 people may buy a condo together, but collectively they have only a single vote.

2) HOA's are representative democracies, managed by elected directors. Directors serve on the board at the pleasure of the homeowners, and a director may be removed from the board by a vote of the membership, with or without cause, at any time.

3) Officers (typically president, vice president, secretary and treasurer) are not elected by the membership, but are appointed by the directors. Typically, the board meets after the annual election to decide which director will serve in what office, usually by verbal vote, and officers serve typically for one year.

4) Since the officers serve at the pleasure of the directors, the directors may remove any director from office, with or without cause, at any time.

5) The membership cannot petition the board of directors to remove a director from office.

6) The membership can, however, petition the board of directors to set a date for a special meeting for any purpose. A recall petition is a petition of the board of directors to schedule a special meeting for the purpose of voting one or more directors off the board.

7) In order for the recall petition to be valid, it must specify the purpose of the special meeting. If the petition only specifies that the purpose of the meeting is to recall a director (or directors), then a ballot must be prepared that has a yes/no vote to recall the director or directors. If the recall is successful, then another special meeting must be scheduled, and another vote held to elect replacement(s). If there is to be an election of replacement director(s) at the recall meeting, then the petition must specify this, in which the ballot will have a ballot item or items for recalling the director(s), and another ballot item or items for electing replacement directors.

8) The signatures on the petition must be those of actual homeowners whose names are on the deed, and only one vote per unit is valid. A husband and wife whose names are both on the deed only get to have one signature on the petition. Even though California is a community property state, if only one spouse's name is on the deed, only the spouse on the deed may sign the petition.

9) Once the recall petition has enough signatures on it, it must be delivered to the board of directors and/or manager. The board then has 20 days to notify the membership of the date of the special recall meeting, which must be scheduled no sooner than 30 days from the receipt of the valid petition, and no later than 90 days from receipt.

10) Once the membership is notified of the date of the recall meeting, both sides may campaign. The director(s) being recalled can attempt to get signers of the petition to withdraw their support, and if the number of signatures drops below 5% of the total voting power of the membership, the petition dies, and the recall meeting is canceled. The people behind the petition would need to start all over again with a new petition in that case, so it would be in your best interests to get many more signatures than you need.

The campaigning can get quite nasty, and emotions can run high, so stay cool and calm. You can, during the campaign, state your evidence (not opinion, rumor or hearsay) for why you want to recall the director(s), and the director(s) can mount a defense.

11) At the meeting, the votes must be verified and counted by an independent "Inspector of Elections." If the recall vote is successful, the recalled director(s) remains in office until replacements are elected. If the petition called for a recall and an election, then the recalled directors step down at the meeting.

That's all there is to it!

Rob
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/06/2011 11:01 PM  
Thanks so much everyone for all your advice. This morning my father called me, since he is also on the deed this has been affecting him, and inturn affecting his health, from lack of sleep from the constant worrying about what is next. So when he called this morning, it was to tell me that he has given up and decided we should just sell the condo and move on. He just can't do this anymore. What saddens me is, my parents bought this condo for me two years ago, they spent two months putting in work day and night to refurbish the unit, it turned out beautiful. How lucky am I to have parents wonderful enough to buy me my own condo. What was suppose to be a comfortable home for me has turned into a nightmare, and the thought of having to walk away from a home that they put so much work into makes me sad.

After reading all the replies, and everyone being kind enough to assist me with the procedures to take this man off the board, I am going to speak with my father in the morning to see if we can give it one more try in an attempt to save my home. Aside from this one person, my neighbors are great, I have made some close friends in the past two years here.

The one thing that still may make things difficult is, even before he was the president he was a nuisance to everyone, constantly harassing workers on the property, countless calls and vistis to the property management company, constant calls to the police department about other neighbors. And that was when he only owned 3-4 units. We spoke with the property management company that he fired in regards to this situation, and at the end of our conversation we asked if they would consider returning as property managers if we were able to get him off the board, the refused as along as he owned a single unit in the development, otherwise they would have loved to.

So tomorrow morning I will start taking the steps that you all have provided me with in an attempt to remove this man and see where that leads me, and with hope and prayer that this works out and I am able to stay.

I will keep you all posted as I take your steps, I hope you will be available for questions I have a feeling I am going to be asking quite a few. Thanks once again.
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/06/2011 11:18 PM  
Rob,

Let me see if I am getting this correct. If I have let's say 10 homeowners signatures, and they all sign the petition and I serve the board witht his petition, they then have 20 days to schedule a meeting regards to the petiton, if they fo not we schedule one ourselves.

What I am not clear on, ok you say he can go to those that have signed the petiton and try and get them to remove their names, I know this is not going to happenm the homeowners I have already are all solid, my question is, can he go to other homeowners and get signatures supporting his stay on the board? If so do those signatures go up against the owns I have, to see who has the most? One more question, once I have the petition signed by ten members, do I need to get othres involved or can we see this process all the way throughw with just us ten homeowners? Ultimately can we take him off the board with just us ten? We alread have other owners willing to step up to take positions on the board once he is off. That will not be an issue.

Once gain Thanks.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


03/07/2011 12:27 AM  
Hi Julie:

Rob has a lot of experience so if you and the other homeowner’s follow his advice you should do well. Be sure to go to the County Assessor’s site and get the addresses of all the out of town homeowners and send them information about this individual and request that they vote to eliminate the current President. They need to be made aware of the situation in order to potentially cast a proper vote.

Pertaining to your latest questions … the board of directors is to set a date for a special meeting for the recall petition. At this meeting is when all the homeowners will then vote one way or the other. The current president will possibly be soliciting votes; however, you and the other homeowners will be doing the same thing and right hopefully will be on your side.

Here is main Davis-Stirling website. It is great in top right search you can put text such as “board recall” and it will list a lot of information:
http://www.davis-stirling.com/

Here is about Petition to Recall:
http://www.davis-stirling.com/Default.aspx?TabId=1353

Here is info for Board Recall Quorum:
http://www.davis-stirling.com/MainIndex/BoardRecallQuorum/tabid/2738/Default.aspx

Here is sample petition for recall (to recall entire Board … make changes if just recall President):
http://www.davis-stirling.com/MainIndex/PetitiontoRecallEntireBoard/tabid/1354/Default.aspx


With regards to some of the items you stated here would have been my responses:

Fine for using the gate code rather than the gate clicker, which he himself sells for 50 bucks each
Response: If it was not in my covenants then too bad. What does it matter if I use a clicker or the gate code, if you do not allow a code then eliminate that option.

If you speak up at a meeting it's a fine
Response: If it is during open forum portion it is allowed per Davis-Stirling:
The only time they have a right to speak at meetings is during the "open forum" portion of an open (non-executive session) meeting. Civil Code §1363.05(i). And only for a reasonable time period established by the board. Members can ask questions but directors are limited in how they can answer them.

I have seen him creeping along the first floor windows at 3:30 am
Response: I would have called the police. Bet he would not do it again.

He spat in my mother’s face, in front of many other people.
Response: I probably would have called the police and insisted he be tested for HIV (especially if I knew he was a jerk).

All guests must be approved through him, so if we bring a guest back to our place at 1 am we must first call him and approve it.
Response: Potentially illegal to tell others who they can invite onto their property (it is their property which they own), unless potentially in covenants which I seriously doubt (only would be valid as you agree to follow these rules when you purchase).

If we take him to court we have to pay him a $200 dollar fine because he has to attend court, it takes him away from his domain so we must pay him
Response: Not valid unless a court awarded him this fee (which might be in his dreams). He is blowing smoke out his butt, so do not pay if he bills you for this fee.

The other units the ones that are not able to pay their HOA fee's are also voting for him
Response: Generally in many HOA documents and allowed by many state statutes (including California), if a member is not current on their dues, they can have their voting rights suspended and cannot vote. Check your documents regarding voting.

$200 for refusing a registered letter, apparently a registered letter went to my dad’s house, when it came he was not home so my brother refused it, we were given a fine of $200 for that refusal.
Response: Again, if not spelled out in documents you cannot fine … besides they would have to prove you were the person who refused the registered letter.

A new rule for me , that my dog was not allowed out of the unit before midnight, if she was seen out of the unit before midnight we would be fined.
Response: Not valid … you cannot dictate when a homeowner will walk their pet if pets are allowed. You can determine location in common areas where pets are allowed to be walked and defecate; however, it would be inhumane to dictate they have to wait until after midnight each day to do their business. Besides it is not valid to make a rule for one person that does not apply to everyone.

Email to other owners my father had sent out, apparently it is not allowed and another fine was issued
Response: You did not state what the email was about; however, this also would be not valid as it violates the United States Constitution. Anyone is allowed to freely speak, send letters, emails, etc. to any individual they choose.

I filed a small claim for the towing of my car, and he informed me last night that I will be billed for all his attorney fees, because he is going to the attorney for advice on the claim and he will bill it to me.
Response: The only way he can collect attorney fee is if he wins in court. This issue can get sticky as you did not say whether or not your parking of the car was in violation of your covenants. If it was not a violation … if it had been me I would have called the police and reported my car stolen.  Let the twirp talk himself out of that situation. Davis-Stirling states:

In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs. Civil Code §1354(c). However, attorneys' fee awards are uncertain and usually less than the amount actually spent.

In an enforcement action in which fees and costs may be awarded pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 1354, the court, in determining the amount of the award, may consider whether a party's refusal to participate in alternative dispute resolution before commencement of the action was reasonable. Civil Code §1369.580.

There is 106 units, he owns 9 now. Most owners live off the property, but right this minute without having to go outside the property I have 10 owners wanting him off the board.
Response: My first paragraph describes how you get the other homeowner’s on board, get their mailing addresses and send a letter and copy of proxy for voting if necessary.

Per Davis-Stirling regarding fines:

An association may impose fines for rules violations if provided for in the association's governing documents. That authority is typically found in the CC&Rs, bylaws, or Rules and Regulations. Liebler v. Point Loma Tennis Club. If an association imposes fines for violations, it must give notice to the membership. Fines must be reasonable and appropriate to the violations and levied after due process has been given.

If they are not defined in your documents they cannot legally fine. If you paid fines that were not legally defined they should return the money or face legal litigation.

If necessary, ban together with the other homeowner’s to hire an attorney. Filing under some torts such as violation of fiduciary duty may not be covered under the HOA insurance for officers so the jerk could be responsible for his personal attorney fees (which would serve him right under these circumstances).

JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


03/07/2011 12:39 AM  
Julie ... the most important aspect of living in an HOA is read and know all your HOA documents and State Statutes. The one item Rob and I agree most whole hearted is KNOWLEDGE is POWER. Your group needs to know or be able to find the rules in your documents or statutes and throw them at the President, as needed.
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/07/2011 12:59 AM  
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your response. T be quite honest with you this man scares me, and am not a person to admit to be scared easily. There are not rules pertaining to fines rgarding, refusal of registered letter, director having to appear in court or my dog only allowed out after midnight. These are all rules he himself have added to our documents, that he considered an immediate danger and was able to approve and add without approval from the association.

My care was towed for being pared infront of my garage while I was unloading my luggage, I had left my radio on and my battery went dead and was waiting for neightbot to get home to jump my car, but still it was there for maybe 30 minutes, and he towed it for being parked in a red zone. There is mo redzone withon 1000 feet of my garage, there are no signs posted on or near the garage, nor are there signs posted at the entrance way indicating no parking in red zones or in front of garages. The law does require these signs to be posted in order for a car to be towed regardless of private property or not. He was also required to make contact with the vehicle owner if this information was available to him, as to where and why the vehicle was towe. He never did this and he knew this was my car without a doubt. Yet when my car was gone I had no idea where it was I spent quite a while on the phone calling police departments and tow yards to locate my vehcile. Since then I have at least 20 pictures of him being parked throughout the complex in redzones.

If we do not pay the fines he gives us it gives him reason to put a lien on our home, this is how he has obtained many of his own units. Seven of the units purchased by him, were off market sales, they never even hit the market, they were units he filed liens on and eventually the owner lost, and he immediately stepped in and bought them before they even went up for sale.

He now even sells trash bags, we had a new notice on our doors, stating that if we are not using the required trash bags to dump our trash in the dumpster it will be a fine, and if we need these bags they can be purchaed thorugh him for $15. Also he strictly enforces the rules as to what can be put in the trash can, which I can understand, but when he flooded out the unit downstairs from him, him and his helpers were dumping wet foam matting by the barrels into the dumpster, which is a violation for the rest of us but apparently not him.

I have read stories after stories about nightmae HOAs, but let me tell you this one takes the cake above all the rest. This is just a sample of what it's like living here with this man on the board Everyone is scared of losing thier homes behind him, and it's justified because if he can obtain your home he will in a heartbeat. That's a fact.


Thanks,

Julie
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/07/2011 2:04 AM  
THIS WAS JIST FORWARDED TO ME FROM A HOMEOWNERS BOYFRIEND I GUESS EVERYONE IS GETTING TIRED OF THIS PRESIDENT!


OPEN LETTER TO

For a period of about five years I have often been puzzled by your peculiar behaviors and obsessions. Early on, I just chalked them up to 'oh well, it takes all kinds.' As seething, scheming pathological juices began to leech through your thin veneer of soundness and rationality, I started to worry about Berenadette's friendship with you and duly cautioned her early on.

Sure enough, when she had the audacity to disagree with you and question your favoritism, scheming and double dealing, she became 'the enemy.' When you welched on your agreement with the rest of the board to also bow out in the self-supported re-call, Bernadette showed you up for the vicious, lying schemer you really are and that, it seems, has been the 'unforgivable sin.' That's O.K., because your pathology drives you to some really bizarre and ignorant actions that will ultimately lead you to failure, civil and possibly criminal charges.

With your poor excuse for a board consisting of two elected members and other personally chosen appointees, you display a charade called "findings of fact" from outrageous fabrications, without even citing which rules are alleged to have been violated. You are one sick puppy with delusions of grandeur if you think you possess any punitive authority not specifically granted to Directors in your governing documents.

Moreover, even governing documents and boards of morons cannot trump the United States Constitution, the Civil Code and the Davis-Stirling Act. Even IF real, specific rules were alleged to have been violated, an accused person has the right to be confronted by accusers and address the board. Then and only then would a defense or denial be necessary. Why would any rational person dignify lies and gossip with denials before it has been determined whether behaviors alleged even qualify as violations in the first place?

I know you are too thick to understand this because your juvenile behaviors trumpet your ignorance; which is why this is an open letter. Maybe someone with a crayon can explain it.

Neither you nor ? nor your hand picked minions can make lies into facts by proclamation. All you can do is lie and possibly get others to swear to it. This is how you morons 'find' facts.

For months you've been mailing and taping absurd, prehensile hearing notices to the door. The notices are filled with nonsense and claimed 'findings of fact' that are redundant and indicative of severe pathology. How does a man make it through college and obtain a degree when he demonstrates that he couldn't make it out of a sixth grade English class?

Your use of obvious use of spellcheck adds a dimension of humor! All of the words incorrectly used are spelled correctly! Its a dead giveaway. Usually when people use big words they don't understand, at least some of them will be spelled incorrectly.

The hilarious, masquerade of proper grammar is stubbornly repititious and consistently incorrect, no matter where it's applied. These are only elementary aspects of the pretentious nonsense you spew. Since it goes un-noticed by your one elected and other personally appointed board colleagues, I suspect their literacy even more than yours.

You have no authority to be punitive with people unless you can first cite specific rules alleged to have been violated. Only after that can you go on to furnish evidence or testimony that the accused has actually done the deeds. You must allow due process. Gossip has a poor shelf life and eventually even your supporters will see what you are up to and know that they are riding the back of a tiger.

Paranoia and delusions of grandeur go hand and hand clinically. Surveillance cameras, proclamations of guilt of acts that never occurred, gossipy accusations laced with insinuations and delusional connections are rife in your written communications.

You really are a pitiable specimen of greed and paranoia on the hoof. "The Association considers..." "Therefore, the Association believes...." "In accordance with the Corporate Code and the Declaration, we hereby....." "...outcome of this Hearing (capitalized, gawd!) may result in an imposition of....." Then you babble about 'suspending use of amenities and voting privileges or any other remedies available to the Association.' Get thee a dictionary. You obviously don't understand the very medium you employ to propagate your inuendos and paranoic insinuations. It is called the English languege.

Every time one of your childish proclamations arrives there are even more goofy allegations added to the list. Sane people read the 'violations' alleged and they laugh and question what you are on. I know what you are on. It is an avaricious quest to harrass your non-supportive or intimidated neighbors into non-judical forclosures in order to drive them out of the community and yourself into cheap ownership of their properties. You just acquired your ninth unit. I believe that you're misusing, abusing and vastly over-stepping your limited authority to accomplish those stated ends.

Pointing the finger at others from your glass house, you accuse them of the same illegal parking activities in which you indulge yourself routinely. Obstruction of 'Association Business' is the elastic, 'one size fits all' accusation you make about anybody who dares disagree with or criticize your actions.

Taking in laundry revenue is Association Business. You have obstructed it in every way possible as President, while attempting to swindle Webb out of bonus money given in good faith based on your misrepresentations.

You continue to restrain Webb's trade by prohibiting residents laudry facility use and by soliciting sales and installation of washers and dryers for personal profit. By law, you had no business being involved in contract negotiations or voting while in competition with WEBB. You ignored the law. Where are your fines for harm brought to your community by having to return money?

This is obstructing Association Business in the first degree and unlike your phony, trumped up, bullshit allegations made about Bernadette, Gary, Carolyn, Julie and many others, IT CAN BE PROVEN AND IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE AND RECORD. There are many accusers and witnesses who will come forward. Compare that to your gossipy indictments of Bernadette and others sourced from alleged people who will not come forward for questioning.

You are a sad shadow of a man that is no more than the value of his property in his own mind, who is even less in the minds of others. I don't care what anybody thinks of my publicly stated opinion of you. You are a public figure of scope limited to this small community that you are turning into your own little personal concentration camp. I'm a visitor and guest at this sad place who has had a long time to observe you and your infamy.

Julie just announced today that she is giving up and getting out because of the effects of your relentless harrassment and demands for money via trumped up fines. It is all affecting her father's health. This is, I'm sure, cause for celebration for you ****. Now maybe you can lay your hands on another cheap property to rent out.

It is a disgusting, criminal pattern and eventually it will catch up to you.

God's speed.

RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/07/2011 10:17 AM  
Julie,

Just to back up Janet's recommendations: HIRE AN ATTORNEY! One who specializes in California HOAs. I would band together with the other homeowners to pay for it. But first study the Davis-Stirling Act. All of you need to begin documenting everything this man (and the other board members too!) has done that are violations of the law. This is in addition to recalling the entire board, which seems warranted from what you say. If even 1/10 of what you say about them - and the president - is true, they ought to be in jail.

For example, under California Penal Code 240 PCS, spitting in someone's face - even if he missed! - is assault in California. The police should have been called, and the man arrested. More about this here. I'm no attorney, but some of the other things he's done sound like extortion to me.

To answer your question about what the president can legally do to fight a recall:

First, he can attempt to persuade (not threaten) signers to officially withdraw their names from the petition. If enough of them withdraw so that the total falls below 5%, the petition dies, and you would have to start all over again.

Second, he can look for technical errors in the wording of your petition, and attempt to declare it invalid on those grounds.

Third, he can challenge the validity of the signatures.

Bottom line: Make absolutely certain you have your ducks in a row before you embark on this journey. I personally wish I were there to watch and participate in this.

What he can't do: Start his own petition to counter yours.

What he can do: Campaign to beat you when it comes time to vote. Here's how that part of it works:

You have 109 (or is it 106 - sorry, can't recall) units in your association. Let's say it's 109.

In order to force the board to schedule a recall meeting, at which people either vote, or ballots that have been sent out are counted, you only need 5% of the total voting power to sign it. (5% of 109 = 4.45, but let's say 5, just to be safe.)

I need to be very clear on this: 5% of the total voting power is all you need to force the board to set a date for a special meeting, and the wording of the petition establishes the purpose of the meeting. You could, just for the sake of discussion, use this device to force the board to set a special meeting date, the purpose of which is to have the entire membership demand that he resign from the board. he could refuse to resign, but you never know.

At any rate, this meeting is for the purpose of voting to recall this director, which means voting him off the board. The meeting cannot begin until there is a quorum present, either in person or in the form of properly completed ballots. A quorum is defined in your CC&Rs or Bylaws, but (from www.davis-stirling.com):

Quorum Defined. A "quorum" of the membership is the required minimum of number of members who must be present in person, by proxy and/or by ballot before the association may conduct business at a membership meeting. (Robert's Rules, 10th ed., pp. 20, 334.) The minimum number of members is usually defined in the CC&Rs or Bylaws. The more common quorum percentage is 25%, 33%, 50%, 51%, or a simple majority of the members.

But let's say a quorum in your case is the highest of those percentages (51%). Let's call it 56 to be safe.

So, the meeting can't start until you either have 56 completed ballots to open, or 56 people there in person (assuming you have meetings in person, which is not required for this vote).

In order to win the recall election, you must have affirmative votes from at least a majority of a quorum. In your case, let's say only 56 people vote. That's a quorum. If that were the case, you would only need affirmative votes of a majority of that number, which is 29 votes, to kick this lunatic off the board. Of course, since this issue is so volatile, you will probably have no trouble getting a quorum to vote, and you will need more than 29 votes to win. If I were you, I would assemble a team to go door-to-door during the campaign, and try to get commitments from a majority of the homeowners to vote him off (56 valid votes).

Hope this clarifies it for you.


Rob










RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/07/2011 10:24 AM  
One other thing: I would get together with 8 or 9 homeowners you can trust, hire an attorney, and have a meeting somewhere where you can get some strategy going. I would advise everyone to stop writing letters like the one you shared. That does nothing but tip the guy off to what your criticisms are. Don't vent - attack in force when you have a good chance of winning the fight, with legal guns blazing.

Rob
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


03/07/2011 10:43 AM  
Julie ... some attorneys will offer a "free" consultation, if so it does not hurt to check and see what they say regarding your situation.



PjW
(Virginia)

Posts:71


03/07/2011 12:27 PM  
There's also something called the Community Association Institue - even if you aren't a member sometimes you can get information from them just look up the chapter for your area
PamelaM5
(Florida)

Posts:85


03/07/2011 12:30 PM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 03/07/2011 12:27 AM
Hi Julie:


All guests must be approved through him, so if we bring a guest back to our place at 1 am we must first call him and approve it.
Response: Potentially illegal to tell others who they can invite onto their property (it is their property which they own), unless potentially in covenants which I seriously doubt (only would be valid as you agree to follow these rules when you purchase).




This was one of the things that bothered me the most. You're not renting, you own your home. And even if you were renting it's ludicrous to think that an adult has to clear her guests with someone who will pass judgment and either approve or refuse the request. He's treating you like you're fourteen, not a responsible adult homeowner. It's harrassment and I'm 99% certain that such a demand is not legal. Is it in any of your documents that the board has this power? Has it been done to anyone else? What would happen if you brought a guest home? How would he know and what would he do?
BarbaraB10
(California)

Posts:117


03/07/2011 12:44 PM  
Posted By JulieR2 on 03/07/2011 12:59 AM
Hi Janet, . . . My care was towed for being pared infront of my garage while I was unloading my luggage, I had left my radio on and my battery went dead and was waiting for neightbot to get home to jump my car, but still it was there for maybe 30 minutes, and he towed it for being parked in a red zone. There is mo redzone withon 1000 feet of my garage, there are no signs posted on or near the garage, nor are there signs posted at the entrance way indicating no parking in red zones or in front of garages. The law does require these signs to be posted in order for a car to be towed regardless of private property or not. He was also required to make contact with the vehicle owner if this information was available to him, as to where and why the vehicle was towe. He never did this and he knew this was my car without a doubt. Yet when my car was gone I had no idea where it was I spent quite a while on the phone calling police departments and tow yards to locate my vehcile. Since then I have at least 20 pictures of him being parked throughout the complex in redzones. Thanks,Julie




Re your 2011 update -
You've been given great suggestions. It has been suggested at least twice that you seek an attorney who offers free consult. Focus on the solutions, many were given by others. As a word of caution, keep the specifics of your situation off the web and especially names, addresses or personally identifying info. Knowledge IS power. Also suggested previously - become familiar with Davis-Stirling Act, California civil and corporation codes, et al. Lots of reading but eventually you will make progress in understanding the remedies and the law limitations.

Re your towed vehicle & fine
If I were in your situation, I'd take photos of any/all areas in front of the garage and especially if 'no parking' signs or red curbs exist near the garage. Do this BEFORE any changes are made by the BOD. Put the photos on a cd and keep them; print the pictures for assistance in your small claims affair. If there are new signs or new paint applied, take photos. This will provide the before & after documentation. Know your governing documents before you set foot in court. In your docs, look for and find the notification requirements when a violation occurs. The board must follow them. If there aren't any, I believe the law (Davis-Stirling) would then be observed which pertains to due process - you must be given the opportunity to correct the violation before fines are demanded. According to your posts, there was no due process. The courts dislike the lack of due process. Judges make this issue clear when deciding cases. Also in California, Alternative Dispute Resolution is required but I am confused as to what may pertain to your situation.

http://www.davis-stirling.com/DisputeResolution/ADRMenu/tabid/572/Default.aspx

http://www.davis-stirling.com/MainIndex/WhenADRIsRequired/tabid/1243/Default.aspx

Obtain the counseling & guidance you & your neighbors so desperately need from a competent attorney whose area of practice is in California Condo/COA/HOA law. He will also tell you when/if you should be dealing with the police dept.

JulieR2


Posts:0


03/07/2011 6:29 PM  
Pamela,

As a metter of fact he does this to many people. He went as far as programming the front gate to ring his phone number when anyone called any of the units to gain entry, he figured if they were falling for entry then they must not be tenants and would have to be guests, this giving him knowledge of who was coming and going from each unit by the number they called from the gate, only it did not call the number they wanted it would call his number and from there he would question their reason for coming. He decided if he would allow them access or not. That lasted a few weeks.

He goes door to door with a clipboard asking for names of all persons living in the unit. We don't have an onsite manger but he tries to act as one.
JulieR2


Posts:0


03/11/2011 1:06 AM  
To Rob and Everyone Else,

Everyone that was kind enough to respond and give me advice as to how to handle my situation here with my HOA board, I am truly appreciative. I have read everyones comments very carefully. As of today we are starting a petition to recall the president, so far we have 11 signatures. We have a meeting this Saturday night with all the homeowners that are local and able to attend to discuss what we can do, and how we are going to go about this.

So for right now I am going to stay and fight, I am not going to allow one person to run me out of my home. I refuse to give him that much power.

Thank You all very very much for everything. I will keep you posted as things progress. Hopefully with some luck and the law on out side things will work out and life can get back to normal around here. I can't wait to take my dog for a long walk at a normal hour and feel safe doing it.

Thank Again.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


03/11/2011 3:34 AM  
Julie,

Typically the petition is not to recall the Board but to hold a special meeting to recall the board. If your Association is picky, the wording on the petition needs to say meeting and not just recall.

A typical process is:

1) Petition circulated to call a special meeting
2) Petition presented to the board
3) Board verifies signatures and arranges for meeting
4) Notice of meeting sent to membership (in accordance with governing documents)
5) Once meeting date is known - solicitation of proxies happen
6) Meeting held
7) If quorum is present, a discussion followed by vote to recall is done
8) Vote announced
9) If recalled - Either immediately following the recall vote or at a future date new elections are held. OR Remaining board members appoints people to fill vacant seats


This is why your petition must be very specific. I would suggest:

This petition is to call a special meeting of the membership to recall (names) from serving on the Board of directors and, if successfully recalled, to elect new members of the Board to serve out the remaining term.

Note: always get more signatures then the minimum necessary.


Tim
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


03/11/2011 10:52 AM  
Tim is right: The petition is to call a special meeting for the purpose of removing a particular director, or directors. It sounded to me as though you need to remove more than one, but that's just my opinion.

Here's sample wording for calling a special meeting to recall the entire board in California:

NOTE: The purpose of the petition must be contained on each petition circulated and positioned above the signature lines so that people signing the petition know what they are signing. If the purpose is on a separate page, it will invalidate the petition.

The undersigned members representing 5% or more of the Association hereby petition that the Board of Directors set the earliest reasonable date for a special membership meeting for removing the entire board and electing a new board in the event the recall is successful.

REASON for recalling board: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

Signature Print Name & Address


_____________________________ __________________________________


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And here's a sample petition for removing a single director in California:

NOTE: The purpose of the petition must be contained on each petition circulated and positioned above the signature lines so that people signing the petition know what they are signing. If the purpose is on a separate page, it will invalidate the petition.

The undersigned members representing 5% or more of the Association hereby petition that the Board of Directors set the earliest reasonable date for a special membership meeting to removing one or more directors as described below and to elect replacement directors in the event the recall is successful.

DIRECTORS subject to removal: _______________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

REASONS for removal: _________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

Signature Print Name & Address


__________________________________ __________________________________


Read more: Petition to Recall the Entire Board
from Davis-Stirling.com by Adams Kessler PLC

Read more: Petition to Recall a Director
from Davis-Stirling.com by Adams Kessler PLC



Rob







JoanneW2


Posts:0


03/12/2011 8:49 AM  
Julie,
You have been given wonderful advice. My only purpose is to give you support and encouragement. No one should have to live with the nonsense you have been subjected to. It is evident he has a problem without saying much more. At some time, you might also speak to your local law enforcement officer to get some advice going forward when he is off the Board.
Good luck!!!!
AvanD1
(California)

Posts:22


04/10/2011 5:06 AM  
Any updates on this case?
MarieH2
(California)

Posts:8


04/13/2011 7:01 PM  
This is not legal advice but it I were in your situation I would send that letter to the local press. I would have one other neighbor willing to speak to the press. I have been in situations where the only way to get neighbors involved was for them to read about their problem in the newspaper. Odd but true. And your president will realize he cannot operate in secret as he has all along.

If you are in a small city you could talk to your city council member to ask if they can help. Its a long shot but it will get the word out about the criminal behavior and abuse in your community.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


04/14/2011 12:35 AM  
NEVER involve the press in your HOA business. It just brings unwanted attention and paints your HOA in a bad picture. You want to sell your home one day don't ya? Plus the HOA is supposed to keep home values up. Spouting out your dirty laundry to the press no matter what the intentions doesn't read well to others... How many times do you hear about OTHER HOA's in the media and think "Glad I don't live there or in a HOA?"... SAME thing when you do it in the press...

If this was me dealing with the unreasonable, I get reasonable to their unreasonable...You want to know who's coming in and out? Guess what? Your going to know every time...It's a funny thing giving someone what they want...they tend to NOT want it. You want towing? Get tow trucks... You want garbage out on the side of the road at the appropriate time? Didn't say it had to outside MY home. The President has a home there too...

Okay, this is really bad advice. However, it is also a way to have a little bit of fun with crazy...Plus a little humor in the life of mundane helps...LOL. Good luck. You may remove them from office but this person is going to have other ways to be involved. The rest of you may want to find a place for this to happen like Neighborhood watch or some kind of committee. Keep him busy and involved in a place that won't involve the rest of you...

Former HOA President
DaveC5
(Maryland)

Posts:1


04/22/2011 10:33 AM  
MelissaP1:

No disrespect, but it sounds like Julie is dealing with a true psychotic with definate hints of schizophrenia -- reason and passive-aggressive behavior will do nothing to keep this guy at bay. It will only feed and enpower him (at least in his own mind). The guy sounds really unstable, so even trying to provoke him into some illegal action (ie., assault, tresspassing, whatever) might be easy and could certainly be used to remove him from their lives, but might get really violent given the pathological nature of the actions Julie describes through her posts. The best avenue is definately removal by means of legal action.

Glad to see Julie and the rest of her neighbors are finally getting a backbone. "Stepping up" can be complicated and scary, especially in this situation. But seening the residents allow this to go on for at least the duration of this post (~6 mos) makes me think there's some real danger involved. Good luck to Julie's coalition -- I'm in Maryland; wish I could attend your meetings.
JulieR2


Posts:0


05/16/2011 7:48 PM  
To all those that gave me great advice. Here is the update to my current situation with a President Gone Overboard.

We (several homeowners) just finished and served our board with a petition for the boards removal. This did not go so well, he ignored the petition and only gave a response to say that several of the signatures on the petition were those of homeowners whose voting proviledges he had taken away due to some violation. Therefore he finds the petition to be invalid. The petition itself was thrown in the trash in front of several of us.

I wss served (along with my parents since the condo is in their name) another violation and oredered to appear at another hearing. When we arrived a lady was there that he had hired on the board that was not a homeowner nor did she even live on the premises. Long story short, we were not given a second to talk, the violation was for apparently I was seen loitering in the parking lot by three witnessess, of course the witnesses were not present. The meeting got out of hand when he refused to let us speak our side and he began video taping us, the meeting was called to an end when the president got up and opened the door and saud "All Trash Can Leave Now: my mother and him got into a verbal argument at which point he hit my mother. The police were called out and because this lady that was at the meeting told the police that she did not see him hit her, they did not arrest him.

In the meantime my parents took him to small claims court for all the past fines we paid, WE WON! Judge ordered him to pay them all back. The iggest issue the judge had when he asked the president if quorum was met at these violation hearings, the president said he did not have to meet quorum at a violation hearing. WRONG! We had to wait 30 days for the money, and when we finally did get a check in the mail, he sent two checks one in the name of my ex who use to live with me, and one in my dads name. He aid since my ex is the one that handed him the money he was legally bound to issue the money to him, even thou the judge told him to pay in full to my dad, my dad had told the judge that he lent the money to us to pay the first fine. Along with the checks came a note, the note stated that if we were to even think about cashing these checks he would be pulling us back into another violation hearing to fine us all over again. So that was received yesterday.

Also he filed a restraining order on my mother, we went to court and he showed the video to the judge and the judge told him to get the heck out of his court and dismissed the case.

Any advise on what action I can now take with this letter he sent us regarding cashing the checks that was court ordered. The small claims jusge looked to be very sick of this man, apparently he is there often?
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


05/16/2011 9:21 PM  
Hi Julie:

Thank you for the update … I was wondering the other day how you were doing.

LOL … if he was stupid enough to send a note of that nature with the checks I suggest you take the checks and the note to the Judges office. Let his secretary know the situation and ask what you should do regarding the case. She might schedule an appointment to meet with the Judge. It will potentially be very funny to see what happens when he pisses off a Judge.
JulieR2


Posts:0


05/16/2011 10:00 PM  
Are you able to just walk in and get contact with the judges secretary? I was under the impression that once you won the case, it was up to you to collect the money the court is out of it.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


05/16/2011 10:12 PM  
Different states, counties, cities vary with regards to the matter. I would go by and see what they say ... if anything they will at least let you know how to proceed legally. When I think about a couple of judge friends from where we moved from and the image of the situation, I just had to laugh when I thought about what their reactions would have been.

You might consider also purchasing a cheap digital recorder to carry in your pocket so if you are ever again in meetings with this individual you can record the conversations and potential actions. Florida allows taping of HOA meetings and potentially here is other laws and information:

http://www.rcfp.org/taping/states/florida.html
Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of “oral communication,” Fla. Stat. ch. 934.02. See also Stevenson v. State, 667 So.2d 410 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1996); Paredes v. State, 760 So.2d 167 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2000).

 934.02Definitions.—As used in this chapter:

 (2) “Oral communication” means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation and does not mean any public oral communication uttered at a public meeting or any electronic communication.

IMPORTANT: Do not tape telephone conversations … it is illegal in the state of Florida to tape telephone conversations without consent of all parties.
JulieR2


Posts:0


05/16/2011 10:14 PM  
Would this be considered a form of extortion?
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


05/16/2011 10:19 PM  
I am not an attorney, but actually he is making a threat. He is also showing comtempt for the court and judge in not following the decision handed down. Judges tend not to like threats and contempt.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


05/16/2011 10:29 PM  
Another thought is you might take the judges order, the checks, and note to the District Attorney office and see also what they say with regards to the situation.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


05/17/2011 12:21 AM  
I'm interested in the recall effort you made. Did you follow the format I suggested for the petition? If so, the petition calls for a meeting of the membership for the purpose of voting the current director(s) off the board. Yes, the signers of the petition must be members in good standing, but that generally means their dues are paid up. On the other hand, in the state of California, you only need signatures of 5% of the total voting power of the membership to call this meeting. What percentage did you have?

Even if some of the signatures were invalid, that does not invalidate the petition, as long as the remaining valid signatures represent at least 5% of the membership.

If you wrote the language of the petition properly, and you presented it to the board, the clock starts ticking from that moment, and the board has 20 days to announce the meeting date, which may not be less than 35 nor more than 90 days from receipt of your request.

Here's the important part: If the board fails to announce the meeting within the 20 day period, you, the petitioners, may set the meeting date yourselves - and there is nothing anyone can do to stop you. You must follow the rules, though. Read this.

If you hold the membership meeting, and you vote the board out of office, they are out of office. they can sit and pretend they are still in office, but they are history. Elect new directors, and demand the books, the keys, and anything else these wackos have, and if they don't surrender them, take legal action against them to return those things.

Rob

JulieR2


Posts:0


05/17/2011 12:57 AM  
In all honesty, I think he does not want us cashing the checks because the funds are not there. Since we have been denied an audit for the past year and a half, we have no idea what the accounts hold. Also he swtiches banks all the time. He was able to just buy his 9th unit here, and he is unemployed. His entire lire revolves around this building, day and night. It's really all he does. He has private cameras up for his own viewing that are focused on his cars, his garage, his units. Once again tonight he has chaged the gate codes making it so we are unable to drive in the front gates. He posted new rules on everyones doors pertaining to the type of garbage bags we have to use, and of course if we do not have this tyoe he will gladly sell us some. Lots of new rules which no one voted on or even knew about. He walks around with a video camera all the time just looking for something to tape and violate somwone. He keeps imposing fines on me for my dog, yet three people have recently moved in with dogs larger then mine. It never ends with this guy.
JulieR2


Posts:0


05/17/2011 1:11 AM  
Almost everyone on the petition he claims have lost their right to vote. He knows who wants him off and who does not. He has taken away almost everyones voting priviledges for the smallest of things. He took away my neighbors voting rights because he claims he did damage to a garage door, another persons were taken cause she speaks out of line in meetings according to him, and anothers cause she took him to small claims, ours because of my dog, and so many more. Thats his thing to take away voting rights just before reelection, and it just so happenes reelection is next month so he was in full swing of takng away voting rights before the petition got started.

Last month he bought his 9th unit here, and decided he would install a shed on the balcony to house a washer and dryer (against the CC&R's) while doing so he hit a pipe and completely flooded the downstairs unit, Everything had to be replaced, well we contacted the compnay that came out and repaired the plumbing both upstairs and downstairs and asked who paid the bill for this repair, guess who paid The Association paid the bill.

I also learned owners that do not live here but have units that are not occupied are sending him payments for keeping an eye on their units, not sure if this is legal or not. He just rented out the unit across from me which in foreclosure, they pay rent directly to him and were told that they can stay for just a few months until bank comes out.

A friend of mine works at Home Depot and told me that he often comes in and purchases lets say 10 pieces of wood for the comples, but we really only needed one piece, he then goes back to Home Dept with the remaining 9 pieces and instead of crediting the Associations account he gets the refund in the form of a gift card which of course he keeps for himself. That explains the garage full of brand new tools he has.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


05/17/2011 7:27 AM  
Julie, he can't take away voting privileges without due process. Just because he says someone's voting privileges have been taken away, does not mean they have. The rules for this are very strict: Read this.

He seems to have you all cowed to the point where you have given him a ridiculous amount of power over you, but it is not real or legal. Go to the District Attorney and file a criminal complaint against him, if you have proof of any financial misdeeds.

But again, he has no authority to deny voting privileges on a whim - don't let him get away with these things, and don't be intimidated.

Rob
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


05/17/2011 3:32 PM  
Cash the checks. If possible, get a separate account just to deal with the HOA. This way you won't confuse your personal assets with the HOA's issues. Put enough money in the account that would add up to atleast a year's worth of dues. Take the checks he gave you and cash them using this new account. Then take the proof that these checks bounced to the District Attorney's office and BACK to the judge that issued the judgement. This is ILLEGAL to pay the judgement with bad funds and the judge's office will look down upon this greatly.

You may have to play some of his games for proof. Your job now is to gather documentation and proof. Set up a calendar with dates and times of his activities. Take pictures and/or video tape. Send certified letters for proof of contact. Gather witnesses or statement of witnesses and have them certified by a notary public. (Service can be free at certain banks).

This is the time to concentrate on a class action lawsuit than a vote out. He can't take your rights away for voting for violations or fines. We only lost our right to vote if we were behind in dues ONLY. Plus fines have to be in the documentation to enforce in the first place. It's time for a group of you to gather up the funds and talk to a lawyer. The good news is that the money spent on legal bills may be tax deductible. That may provide some incentive to the others to join in on the suit.

Normally, I always say suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors..But in this case if it's most of the HOA that sues, then your better off. Good luck!

Former HOA President
MoM1
(Massachusetts)

Posts:56


05/17/2011 4:13 PM  
You could go to the district attorney over the Home Depot charges. Once a certain dollar threshold is crossed by theft, the case becomes grand larceny not just petty theft. Your association may need to hire a forensic accountant, and a construction advisor and somehow get hold of the Home Depot records. Do you have a management company? It seems odd that the board president would be buying so much building material on the association's account. I know it is so disheartening to be video taping your every encounter with your business partners and the outright fear factor with which you have to live. But most crooks do get their just rewards. They get arrogant and sloppy and eventually they slip up. To outfox them you need to think like a crook and outflank them.
RichardP13


Posts:0


05/18/2011 2:02 PM  
Rob,

Actually voting rights can be suspended without a hearing. If you read the first sentence of what you posted, it says voting rights may be suspended without a hearing, but fines and suspensions of priviledges(such as pool use, cannot be imposed until due process has been followed.

I happen to be going through this with a property I manage.
RobW
(California)

Posts:279


05/18/2011 2:17 PM  
In California, voting rights may only be suspended for delinquent payments, and only if the conditions are spelled out in the bylaws or CC&Rs, and only if the facts are undisputed. The president of the association does not have the authority to suspend voting rights on his own volition - only the governing documents have that authority:

Delinquent Owners. If suspension of a delinquent owner's voting rights is provided for in the bylaws or CC&Rs, the suspension can be done without a hearing if the facts are undisputed. Cason v. Glass Bottle Blowers (1951) 37 Cal.2d 134.

Notice of Suspension. Notice of the suspension and the deadline for payment should be given to delinquent owners so they have an opportunity to bring their accounts current and regain their right to vote.

Hearings. Even though governing documents may allow for automatic suspension of voting rights, hold hearings may encourage earlier payment of delinquent amounts.

Read more: Suspend Voting Rights http://www.davis-stirling.com/Suspendvotingrights/tabid/405/Default.aspx
from Davis-Stirling.com by Adams Kessler PLC

Rob

Posted By RichardP13 on 05/18/2011 2:02 PM
Rob,

Actually voting rights can be suspended without a hearing. If you read the first sentence of what you posted, it says voting rights may be suspended without a hearing, but fines and suspensions of priviledges(such as pool use, cannot be imposed until due process has been followed.

I happen to be going through this with a property I manage.



RichardP13


Posts:0


05/18/2011 4:38 PM  
Rob

I agree that no person, only the Board can suspend votings if outlined in the Bylaws or CCR's and if uncontested.
JulieR2


Posts:0


05/22/2011 1:12 AM  
Update,

Took the letter to the DAs office, we were told that they could not really do anything about it, they do not get involved with such things.

But here is something very interesting we found out. We went to the Associations accountant and showed her the letter along with the two checks, she was familiar with there checks and gave us a very interesting piece of information. Apparently within an association each home owner has an individual account, for HOA fees and so forth, the accountant told us that she was instructed to deduct theses checks when cashed from our HOA fees account. So if we would have cashed these checks and got the money it would have put our account 600 dollars in arrears for HOA dues, and we would have never known about it, until we received a letter of deliquency from the associations attorneys, it's at this point he puts liens on peoples homes.

What we ended up doing is getting a writ from the ourt showing the amount owed and paid the sheriffs to serve the associations bank account to get the money. So in two weeks we should have our money. And I guess everytime from now on when he wants to fine us for so stupid violation we can just take him to small climas court and ask for the money back on the grounds of this letter he gave us saying that if we cahsed the checks he would just bring us in on new violations I dont think any judge is going to like what he wrote.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


05/23/2011 8:45 AM  
Hi Julie:

Actually I think there is some confusion regarding the conversation with the Associations accountant. There is a difference between your HOA fees and assessments. The money you paid and which was returned via the court was for fines/fees which you paid and would have been returned and in essence zero out each other. The assessments you pay should not have been affected and not put you into arrears.

Now having said that I think you need to go back up on these postings and have all the homeowners follow Robs steps to remove the idiot. You and the homeowners should insure in the future you are living in peace and harmony.

JulieR2


Posts:0


05/23/2011 11:48 PM  
I completely understand the seperate accounts, but he had instructed the accountant that if the two checks were cashed to withdraw the amount from our (my unit) association dues account, and put that money back into the associations account, which would leave our dues account in arrears, and of course we would have no idea of this had the accountant not told us, which would put him in the position to put a lein on my property because that would make it look as if we were 3 months behind or more (our dues is 200 a month). It has happened from what I have read, peoples properties have been sold right from under them, not knowing that they were deliquent because they never (of course) received notice of the deliquentcy. Here is a perfect example of what could happen, and I will also mention the lawyer in this case is also our association lawyer http://www.ahrc.se/new/index.php/src/news/sub/letter/action/ShowMedia/id/1896.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


05/24/2011 4:25 AM  
Keep an eye on the legals section your newspaper. It's in the classified section. Some papers print it once or twice a week. Others may do it daily. It would be where they would put liens/foreclosure information on the homes. It's considered "Public Notice". Which allowed them to sell the house underneath them. The law considers if you post something accessible to the public like a newspaper, then you have been publicly notified...(This happens also in divorces where the other disapears or refuses to sign).

His checks shouldn't have been in reference to your association dues anyways. They can't force you to pay your due with money they owe you. That is a SEPARATE issue altogether. Unless the judge ruled that you get a "Credit" to your HOA account, the checks should have been live and personal.

You need to go back to the courthouse and modify the paperwork to make the judge aware of the situation. This now is legal and goes beyond HOA rules. He's mixing them both. Unmix them and give him a wake up call...

Former HOA President
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