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Subject: Homeowner being sued by NC HOA
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Author Messages
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/10/2015 6:21 PM  
Posted By NpS on 01/10/2015 6:14 PM
Posted By AmandaR2 on 01/10/2015 6:03 PM
NPS, this is not about you, I'm sorry your so offended. I'm sure Howard, the Board and everyone reading this knows that most parties ask for legal fees to be paid for by the oposite party, and that the courts decide if any party is awarded them. I still agree with the very simple advice Janet provided and don't agree with your strategy but that's just my opinion.

NPS, no one is right or wrong here, were all trying to help. I hope Howard makes the best decision for his situation, whatever advice he takes! I'm sure you do to. You seem to take criticism way too personally, which is hard for me to understand since you seem to be a long time contributor.


Thanks for confirming that you are who I thought you are. Nothing personal. No offense taken. As before, my support is behind Howard all the way.



NPS I don't know understand what you mean about who I am, and I really don't wish to engage in long debates with you in the future.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/10/2015 6:34 PM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 01/10/2015 6:21 PM
Posted By NpS on 01/10/2015 6:14 PM
Posted By AmandaR2 on 01/10/2015 6:03 PM
NPS, this is not about you, I'm sorry your so offended. I'm sure Howard, the Board and everyone reading this knows that most parties ask for legal fees to be paid for by the oposite party, and that the courts decide if any party is awarded them. I still agree with the very simple advice Janet provided and don't agree with your strategy but that's just my opinion.

NPS, no one is right or wrong here, were all trying to help. I hope Howard makes the best decision for his situation, whatever advice he takes! I'm sure you do to. You seem to take criticism way too personally, which is hard for me to understand since you seem to be a long time contributor.


Thanks for confirming that you are who I thought you are. Nothing personal. No offense taken. As before, my support is behind Howard all the way.



NPS I don't know understand what you mean about who I am, and I really don't wish to engage in long debates with you in the future.



I just went back and read your very long post to me (I must confess I skipped over much of it before), It seems you think I'm someone called Emma since you called me by that name. I read all the posts on this thread and see that you did the same kind of back and forth thing to her, that you're now doing to me. I'm not her, and it's okay if you don't believe me. You seem very childish IMO and I won't engage in your games in the future.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


01/10/2015 6:42 PM  
Posted By NpS on 01/10/2015 5:47 PM
Not a problem. You are certainly entitled to your opinion as I am mine.



Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


01/10/2015 7:44 PM  
Amanda ... I respectfully agree with NpS myself that Howard should ask for his legal fees in the meeting, but be willing to negotiate on that issue. NpS has good valid points. In my state any party wronged is entitled to legal fees without a court or judge ordering ... this fact is noted in various state laws. This is a valid negotiable point and might make the HOA comprehend how much they can be out of pocket if they do not cease and settle now. If this goes to court IMO that most likely Howard would win.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


01/10/2015 8:19 PM  
Also, not sure about NC but in CO if the HOA is wrong and homeowner wins then the HOA not only pays the owners legal fees but also cannot assess the owner for any of the HOA attorney fees for the lawsuit. Therefore if I have a high probability of winning I would not be suing myself as some like to state. When the neighbors possibly end up paying for garbage ... then in the future they will pay attention and maybe participate more in HOA business and meetings, otherwise who is next to face similar situation.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/10/2015 8:23 PM  
Janet, I respect your and NPS's opinion. I've never heard of a party being legally entitled to reimbursement fees without a court or judge order or judgement of that. Who enforces and insures the payment is made to the wronged? Who decides who the prevailing party is? I'm not saying I don't believe you, it's just very new and interesting to me. (Obviously anything can be negotiated and agreed on but you seem to be saying something different). I get the point NPS and you make about letting the BOD know how much they could be out of pocket, I just feel that anyone would already be aware that's a risk. Bottom line really not a big deal either way if it's mentioned by Howard IMO. I too agree, that based on the facts that Howard has presented here, he would easily win in court. So that's something we can all agree on ;).
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/10/2015 8:29 PM  
In SC even if governing documents state the prevailing party is entitled to legal fees, it's ultimately up to the courts/Judge to decide. Sometimes the Judges in this state frown upon that wording in governing documents, they see it as a way of the HOA trying to use it as an intimidation tactic to discourage a homeowner from seeking justice through the court system.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


01/10/2015 9:01 PM  
Posted By JanetB2 on 01/10/2015 8:19 PM
When the neighbors possibly end up paying for garbage ... then in the future they will pay attention and maybe participate more in HOA business and meetings, otherwise who is next to face similar situation.

Brava Janet. Maybe they'll throw the bums out.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


01/10/2015 11:23 PM  
Janet, even if the HOA does pay the owners legal costs and does not assess them... The owner is still paying for their own suit. The HOA is ONLY funded by its owners for its owners. Their HOA dues still contribute to the pay out. They just may not have to be party to a special assessment if that is needed to pay the judgement. However, I believe a judge still has to determine that in the terms.

Any way you slice it, your going to pay some portion of your suit on BOTH sides. It is just the additional consequence of your decision. No one says you are right or wrong in making that decision. It just is a factor in your final decision making if you pursue a lawsuit option.

Former HOA President
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


01/11/2015 2:52 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/10/2015 11:23 PM
Janet, even if the HOA does pay the owners legal costs and does not assess them... The owner is still paying for their own suit. The HOA is ONLY funded by its owners for its owners. Their HOA dues still contribute to the pay out. They just may not have to be party to a special assessment if that is needed to pay the judgement. However, I believe a judge still has to determine that in the terms.

Any way you slice it, your going to pay some portion of your suit on BOTH sides. It is just the additional consequence of your decision. No one says you are right or wrong in making that decision. It just is a factor in your final decision making if you pursue a lawsuit option.


Hi Melissa

Of all the stories I have read on this site so far, Howard's board has so far proven to be one of the most arrogant, ignorant, and irresponsible.

Howard is neither suing his association nor himself. He is responding to the threat of a lawsuit by his board against him. To me there's a world of difference between Howard and some people who come here thinking that the world owes them something. Rarely have I seen someone who demonstrates such respect and who has such a straightforward claim of malfeasance.

The contractor bill is $13k. The Board has probably run up a bill of at least $1k with their lawyer and Howard has run up something similar with his own attorney. So for $15k (or only $1k more than what they are already obligated to pay), Howard's Board can put this to bed. And if they play their cards right with Howard, maybe Howard will absorb that $1k himself.

But if they stay on their foolhardy path, lawyer fees can easily exceed $10k on both sides. So now the Board is looking at a potential exposure of more than $35k. If this goes any further (and somehow I have a feeling it won't), I hope that the other homeowners finally wake up and go after Howard's Board to recover the excess and unnecessary cost from the directors personally. I seriously doubt that they have a letter from the HOA lawyer saying that what they did was within their authority. I think those directors are standing in quicksand right now.

So like Janet, I do not believe that Howard is suing his HOA or himself. Howard's Board of directors are the one's who are threatening the lawsuit. They are the ones who are suing the entire membership for their own stupidity and irresponsibility.







Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/11/2015 8:27 AM  
One question that keeps lingering in my mind is this: According to Howard he's spent $1,000- on his attorney. What questions has his attorney asked? answers received? We're encouraging Howard to present a list of very basic questions to the Board, questions that we non-attorneys can easily think to ask, haven't they been asked by his attorney already? Also, the Board and HOA attorney haven't given Howard (or his attorney) any explanation of why they say he's legally responsible? What exactly did the $1,000- Howard paid his attorney go towards? Some of this doesn't make sense to me and is still very puzzling.

This meeting may be a sign of weakness on the Boards position. The Board may be looking at this differently. They may think Howard's showing weakness and wants to make an offer to pay now. Could also be that the Board is being advised by their attorney to meet Howard. They would look bad in court, if they refused Howards request for a meeting. Judges like to see that parties made an effort to try and work things out before going to court.

Considering the statements and information, Howard has presented here, IMO Howard does have a strong case and would prevail if this ends up in court. However, being realistic, only one thing is certain, court is always expensive and always a gamble.






NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


01/11/2015 8:51 AM  
Here is Howard's last post before we took over.

Posted By HowardC2 on 01/07/2015 4:59 PM
I have been informed that the HOA BOD would like to meet with me. I have not yet been given a date/time.
I'd like to appeal to the contributors of this thread and ask for a "check list" of items I need to make sure I get satisfactory answers to. Any input on what I need to specifically address and perhaps how to best present my case before this BOD.
I can easily go back and dissect all the information here as well. Just thought I'd throw this out there as a way of maybe condensing the talking points etc.
Many thanks.


He made no reference to $1k. My assumption was that the board probably spent $1k and Howard did the same. That's probably 4-5 hours of billable time. It doesn't take much to eat that up. One or two meetings with Howard. Researching any legal questions. Phone calls and/or emails. Letter to HOA. Communication with HOA lawyer. In fact, Howard probably got the word that the board would like to see him from his lawyer who heard from the HOA lawyer.

I know some lawyers who charge 1/6 of an hour for pulling a file and dialing a phone number that doesn't get answered. No contact but still billable. These little dings add up.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


01/11/2015 9:07 AM  
Howard

When you meet with the BOD do not play the lawyer card in like saying my lawyers says, my lawyer told me to ask so and so, etc. Keep it on a simple, personal conversation level. An owner and the BOD discussing an issue. If you can reach a settlement with them then so be it. If not, you can then knock it up a notch later meaning legal action.

Also be prepared to compromise. Know what line you draw before you go in. Meaning know what kind of deal you will settle for. Even if you think they are wrong, a compromise might be best for you in the long run.

If a compromise is reached, be sure it is documented.


AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/11/2015 9:20 AM  
Quote from Howard "I've already spent $1K on my atty for him to write letters and email correspondence to the HOA"
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/11/2015 9:22 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 01/11/2015 9:07 AM
Howard

When you meet with the BOD do not play the lawyer card in like saying my lawyers says, my lawyer told me to ask so and so, etc. Keep it on a simple, personal conversation level. An owner and the BOD discussing an issue. If you can reach a settlement with them then so be it. If not, you can then knock it up a notch later meaning legal action.

Also be prepared to compromise. Know what line you draw before you go in. Meaning know what kind of deal you will settle for. Even if you think they are wrong, a compromise might be best for you in the long run.

If a compromise is reached, be sure it is documented.





good advice IMO
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


01/11/2015 10:15 AM  
Thanks for all the input. All opinions are appreciated and I'll be considering all of them as I prepare for the upcoming meeting. It's been a week since I've been asked about my availability for this meeting and I'm still waiting to here a day/time.

Just as a side note, I think it was mentioned that the hoa bod may be exposing themselves to a court decision that would cost them the original $13k they are seeking from me PLUS the hoa AND my legal fees. I've been told that any decision in the favor of either party will not award legal fees. Legal fees have to be contested through a separate and subsequent law suit. I may or may not go after my legal fees at the upcoming meeting. I have yet to determine this. If I do not I will file a suit in small claims court seeking my legal fees.

I'll also started my current bill is $1k.this is for a few emails between my atty and the hoa atty and two meetings between my lawyer and me. If I made a request of my lawyer that he ask all the questions mentioned here, although pertinent and logical, my bill would be at least double.

It is so frustrating having so many questions in my head that I cannot get answers to but I keep telling myself that this process does not allow for common sense dialogue. I just have to focus on the end goal and disregard my desire to make sense of the chronology of the events leading up to this point.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


01/11/2015 10:16 AM  
Thanks for all the input. All opinions are appreciated and I'll be considering all of them as I prepare for the upcoming meeting. It's been a week since I've been asked about my availability for this meeting and I'm still waiting to here a day/time.

Just as a side note, I think it was mentioned that the hoa bod may be exposing themselves to a court decision that would cost them the original $13k they are seeking from me PLUS the hoa AND my legal fees. I've been told that any decision in the favor of either party will not award legal fees. Legal fees have to be contested through a separate and subsequent law suit. I may or may not go after my legal fees at the upcoming meeting. I have yet to determine this. If I do not I will file a suit in small claims court seeking my legal fees.

I'll also started my current bill is $1k.this is for a few emails between my atty and the hoa atty and two meetings between my lawyer and me. If I made a request of my lawyer that he ask all the questions mentioned here, although pertinent and logical, my bill would be at least double.

It is so frustrating having so many questions in my head that I cannot get answers to but I keep telling myself that this process does not allow for common sense dialogue. I just have to focus on the end goal and disregard my desire to make sense of the chronology of the events leading up to this point.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/11/2015 10:21 AM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 01/11/2015 10:15 AM
Thanks for all the input. All opinions are appreciated and I'll be considering all of them as I prepare for the upcoming meeting. It's been a week since I've been asked about my availability for this meeting and I'm still waiting to here a day/time.

Just as a side note, I think it was mentioned that the hoa bod may be exposing themselves to a court decision that would cost them the original $13k they are seeking from me PLUS the hoa AND my legal fees. I've been told that any decision in the favor of either party will not award legal fees. Legal fees have to be contested through a separate and subsequent law suit. I may or may not go after my legal fees at the upcoming meeting. I have yet to determine this. If I do not I will file a suit in small claims court seeking my legal fees.

I'll also started my current bill is $1k.this is for a few emails between my atty and the hoa atty and two meetings between my lawyer and me. If I made a request of my lawyer that he ask all the questions mentioned here, although pertinent and logical, my bill would be at least double.

It is so frustrating having so many questions in my head that I cannot get answers to but I keep telling myself that this process does not allow for common sense dialogue. I just have to focus on the end goal and disregard my desire to make sense of the chronology of the events leading up to this point.



Good Luck to you Howard, Things would be so much easier if commonsense were more COMMON! wouldn't they? I hate it that the legal system sometimes works in favor or the ones that are doing the wrongs! just because it costs a fortune to fight for what is right. I hope things work out for you!
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


01/11/2015 10:25 AM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 01/11/2015 10:16 AM
I've been told that any decision in the favor of either party will not award legal fees. Legal fees have to be contested through a separate and subsequent law suit.


Hi Howard. Good to hear from you. You should obviously do what feels right for you.

When you say that you are being told - are you getting this from your lawyer or from someone else?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


01/11/2015 1:58 PM  
One more bit of advice, difficult as it may be, keep frustration and emotions out of the picture. No matter what stay calm, focused and respectful. By your posts here, you seem like a person in control of yourself, but people can push your buttons sometimes, don't let them! Hopefully, your Board doesn't completely consist of people who fall victim to their own hubris, and they're able to admit if they've been wrong in this situation.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


01/11/2015 7:56 PM  
Howard ... I wish you the best or Luck in your endeavor!!! Please let us know outcome as it may help others in future with regard to their options and choices. The most important thing is we are all here to help each other as much as possible.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


01/12/2015 2:25 PM  
Thanks! I will make sure to post a reply regarding the outcome.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/05/2015 3:21 PM  
Just an FYI - I am scheduled to meet with the BOD on the 15th.
Pray for justice.
Thanks
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


02/06/2015 10:39 PM  
May justice prevail
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


02/09/2015 11:09 PM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 01/10/2015 8:23 PM
Janet, I respect your and NPS's opinion. I've never heard of a party being legally entitled to reimbursement fees without a court or judge order or judgement of that. Who enforces and insures the payment is made to the wronged? Who decides who the prevailing party is? I'm not saying I don't believe you, it's just very new and interesting to me. (Obviously anything can be negotiated and agreed on but you seem to be saying something different). I get the point NPS and you make about letting the BOD know how much they could be out of pocket, I just feel that anyone would already be aware that's a risk. Bottom line really not a big deal either way if it's mentioned by Howard IMO. I too agree, that based on the facts that Howard has presented here, he would easily win in court. So that's something we can all agree on ;).

Hi Amanda:

I just want to clarify the reason I made that statement is because some states under the State Statutes (generally those who have laws based on (UCIOA) Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act are automatically awarded attorney fees if they prevail. In my state under certain circumstances if an owner wronged wins in court they are awarded via State Law their attorney fees and cannot be assessed legal fees for HOA attorney. As you questioned in a later post it is not based on info contained in the governing documents, but instead on the state law. Having it stated in the law helps reduce frivolous lawsuits. You tend to think long and hard about whether you are in the right before filing a lawsuit if you have the consequences of loosing printed for you to read as the state law, and calculate a high probability of winning.

Hope this clarifies some of your questions
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/10/2015 5:37 AM  
Janet,
Thanks for explaining how things sometimes work, under certain circumstances in your state (and some others). I'ts great that you feel those laws reduce the amount of frivolous lawsuits in CO (maybe that's part of the reason there seems to be less people from your state posting problems on this site). We have less laws & regulation in my state concerning HOA matters. Some laws are presently in legislation at this time for SC, I believe.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/10/2015 5:39 AM  
Howard,
I'll be praying for your well deserved justice on the 15th!
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


02/11/2015 10:00 PM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 02/10/2015 5:37 AM
Janet,
Thanks for explaining how things sometimes work, under certain circumstances in your state (and some others). I'ts great that you feel those laws reduce the amount of frivolous lawsuits in CO (maybe that's part of the reason there seems to be less people from your state posting problems on this site). We have less laws & regulation in my state concerning HOA matters. Some laws are presently in legislation at this time for SC, I believe.



Amanda:

Unfortunately your state does not currently have HOA laws. I would recommend getting numerous owners to start lobbying sending letters to your representatives and start with your State Representative Hardwick who feels there should be more protections for HOA's. I would urge him to have your state look at incorporating all or parts of UCIOA as many other states have already. I hope in the future to see better laws protecting all parties in your state.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


02/12/2015 4:01 AM  
Amanda

There has been an HOA Bill floating around the SC State Senate for 6 years or so. Due to so heavy lobbying (by myself included) it has been "dead" in a committee. There are some of us who believe there are enough laws, regulations, etc. that an additional layer is not required.

The majority of HOA complaints emanate from associations still under Declarant control. The second source is from people that did not read nor feel the Covenants/Bylaws apply to them. I say we are not responsible for protecting people from themselves.

SC politicians and bureaucrats are not the sharpest knives in the draw. Best you keep them out of your life and business.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 6:44 AM  
Janet,
I feel HOA law in SC is needed for the fairness and protection if all parties (homeowners, boards and even declarants). The lack of laws and regulation create an environment where the only choice is expensive litigation to solve issues that may have been easily resolved had they occurred in another state.

John,
Most of the horror stories I hear of or read about seem to be after the Declarant has passed power to the homeowners. Seems to be more Board vs. homeowner and neighbor vs. neighbor issues. Seems like the dragged out, expensive legal disputes begin when inexperienced or overly controlling people take over and have no idea what they're doing.

Agreed no Law or Act will cover every single dispute, for example just look at what's happening to Howard, despite the fact that NC has laws in place than some states don't.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/12/2015 7:51 AM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 02/12/2015 6:44 AM
I feel HOA law in SC is needed for the fairness and protection if all parties (homeowners, boards and even declarants). The lack of laws and regulation create an environment where the only choice is expensive litigation to solve issues that may have been easily resolved had they occurred in another state.


Amanda

PA has an HOA law. But it is supplemented by all the laws and legal principles that were in place before PA enacted its HOA law. Section 5108 (below) has a laundry list of legal and equitable remedies that also exist in every other state including yours. So the lack of a HOA law does not stop anyone from obtaining relief.

§ 5108. Supplemental general principles of law applicable
The principles of law and equity, including the law of corporations and unincorporated associations, the law of real
property and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, eminent domain, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, receivership, substantial performance, or other validating or invalidating cause supplement the provisions of this subpart, except to the extent inconsistent with this subpart.

Notice 2 things

1. Sec 5108 starts with "principles of law and equity." Law is rules. Equity is fairness. Rules often conflict with what's fair. And if people can't work these conflicts out themselves, that's what the courts are there for. Yet you seem to think that if there were more rules, that would create fairness. Have never seen it work that way.

2. The next word after law and equity is "including." The list of a dozen or so principles that follow isn't even a complete list. Yet that list covers the lion's share of all complaints raised on this site that involve fairness and protection.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 8:35 AM  
NPS,
You misunderstood me, I don't "think more rules would create fairness" and solve ALL problems. I feel they would help in certain situations. I've heard and read of disputes occurring here in SC that had they occurred in another state, would have been easily addressed with the HOA Laws and Acts that some states have in place. (If the dispute is clearly addressed in law then who would spend money to go to court and lose) There have been battles in this state that could have been avoided had there been clear laws in place on procedures and timelines that must be followed. IMO Clearer rules/laws may result in less cases ending up in court. Eliminate some gray areas may help cut down legal fees for all parties. I do believe that court intervention may be avoided in some cases by having certain laws and rules in place. Naturally, they won't solve every problem.

The laws and their effectiveness, varies much state to state, and I'm sure some do a better job than others in attacking the issues.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/12/2015 10:03 AM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 02/12/2015 8:35 AM
NPS,
You misunderstood me, I don't "think more rules would create fairness" and solve ALL problems. I feel they would help in certain situations. I've heard and read of disputes occurring here in SC that had they occurred in another state, would have been easily addressed with the HOA Laws and Acts that some states have in place. (If the dispute is clearly addressed in law then who would spend money to go to court and lose) There have been battles in this state that could have been avoided had there been clear laws in place on procedures and timelines that must be followed. IMO Clearer rules/laws may result in less cases ending up in court. Eliminate some gray areas may help cut down legal fees for all parties. I do believe that court intervention may be avoided in some cases by having certain laws and rules in place. Naturally, they won't solve every problem.

The laws and their effectiveness, varies much state to state, and I'm sure some do a better job than others in attacking the issues.


I will line up alongside John on this issue - legislators are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. There are numerous posts on this site that complain about over-regulation - which is the risk you face when you seek a more regulated solution - above and beyond what is already available to you.

And some of the things that are available to you in SC without an HOA law are:
- corporate law,
- real property law,
- principal and agency law,
- estoppel law,
- fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake laws
- receivership law,
- substantial performance law,
- other laws and equitable principles.

You would be surprised at how many of the disputes discusses could be resolved under these laws and principles - All without a specific HOA law.




Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 10:31 AM  
NPS,
I'm aware of my states available laws, Thanks for listing some of them. They have no affect on my veiwpoint. They don't change the fact that their are challenges that many people feel need specific attention in this state. If the Homeowner Protection Act passes then only time will tell it's impact. Until then it seems useless to debate with y'all on the subject.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 10:43 AM  
NPS,

Your statement "You would be surprised at how many of the disputes discusses could be resolved under these laws and principles-All without a specific HOA law."
I must point out that, IMO proper HOA Laws if passed would actually PREVENT disputes more often than having RESOLVING them after the fact. Laws are needed here to help insure people are well informed.

I rest my case.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 10:46 AM  
correction should read:
"PREVENT disputes more often than having to RESOLVE them after the fact"
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/12/2015 11:13 AM  
Posted By AmandaR2 on 02/12/2015 10:43 AM
NPS,

Your statement "You would be surprised at how many of the disputes discusses could be resolved under these laws and principles-All without a specific HOA law."
I must point out that, IMO proper HOA Laws if passed would actually PREVENT disputes more often than having RESOLVING them after the fact. Laws are needed here to help insure people are well informed.

I rest my case.


Glad you've decided to give it a rest.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 1:28 PM  
NPS,
I just feel continuing to reply to remarks that you have directed towards me any further would be too far off topic. We simply have opposing views on this subject, understandable since we live in different states and I'm sure have gained very different experience and knowledge over our lifetimes.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/12/2015 5:27 PM  
A tidbit from a concurrent thread:

Posted By RichardP13 on 02/12/2015 3:59 PM
Before someone from California questions my opinions, there are written opinions from law firms that differ from one another, so there is disagreement within our own legal community.


What Richard is saying is that even in the most regulated state in this country, there are differences of opinion among judges and lawyers about how those regulations should be and can be interpreted. Legislation is not a magic wand.

Yes, I agree with you Amanda that "proper" legislation would be an improvement in your state and in mine. But it's really a meaningless statement because my definition of "proper" is different than your definition of "proper." And as long as people disagree over the scope of "proper", there will continue to be disputes in CA, SC, PA, and every other state.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/12/2015 5:46 PM  
It goes without saying that disputes will always arise and never be completely eliminated (by any means). I think we would all would agree to that fact. I think we all know that legislation is not a "magic wand". However, I do feel some states have some very good HOA laws in place. I also feel my state needs attention in this area, but I'm in no way unrealistic in my expectations of how much improvement they may bring.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/17/2015 11:38 AM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/05/2015 3:21 PM
Just an FYI - I am scheduled to meet with the BOD on the 15th.
Pray for justice.
Thanks


Wondering if any good came out of your meeting on the 15th. Hoping "no news is good news"!
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/17/2015 1:10 PM  
So sorry. My error. The date is tomorrow the 18th.
I will report back as I had planned to do.
I appreciate the concern and support.
Fingers crossed.
Howard
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/19/2015 10:22 AM  
The meeting yesterday was much worse than I expected. We arrived about 10 minutes early and the entire bod was at a table. There were not enough chairs for me, my wife and my BIL, whom I decided to ask to attend as an extra set of ears. They had to bring in 4 additional chairs so even if it was just me there would have been a need for them to make room. I feel this was a tactic used to make it uncomfortable for me right off the bat.
The attorney came in and said to me, "ok, so you have asked for this meeting, what is it you would like to say". I said that the first thing I'd like to ask is how is the BOD justified in billing me for work that they ordered to have done". Before I was even done asking the question he interrupted me and said, "hold on, you requested a meeting with the BOD. This is not a place for you to ask questions and the BOD will not be answering any questions". I said I asked for a meeting and was told that this was a meeting and not a hearing. A meeting is where people discuss issues and there is dialogue etc. We are here in an effort to resolve a conflict and if I cannot ask questions of the board then how is it possible to go forward and work toward a resolution. "

It pretty much went Don Hill from there. He said I was already given ample time by the BOD to argue my case with them.
The hoa attorney and and I, as well as my wife and BIL, went back and forth with the attorney basically beating a dead horse about how the BOD released me from the prior dispute and we talked about other things as well. Mainly things that I tried to explore lain as evidence that I was in full compliance with the BOD as as far as the previous dispute goes. At one point my BIL tried to argue on my behalf and the attorney was extremely rude to him and said that he was not invited and that he has no right to make any statements.
The attorney, and and the BOD, maintain that I did not satisfy their requirements. I presented minutes of bod meetings that clearly stated that the the hard was happy to have resolved the issue with me and that they were sending a thank you letter. The battery board member that said to me, "Howard, aren't you glad this pond issue is going to be behind you" during my final meeting with the BOD in November of 2013 was seated right next to me and at a couple of different times during the meeting I asked him did he not remember asking me this rhetorical question. He said he may have asked me this but didn't remember specifically.

I tried to be as compelling as I could be and I offered many other facts and historical data that showed that the BOD was over the pond issue but it was to no avail. I said asked them if I was not in compliance with their demands regarding the items set forth by them to correct my errors then why would they ask me to help the contractor that they hired? Why would they ask me to use my personal pump to keep the ground water out of the hole while he fixed it by fill ng it N? Why was I never given any indication that I would be held responsible for a single dime regarding the central ed work that they decided to get done.

It was clear the hoa atty had instructed the BOD to keep silent. On the rare occasions where they spoke they first looked at him for approval to do so.

Near the end of the meeting I could see they were there to do nothing other than consider any monetary offer I may put out. At this point is asked about being heard by an adjudicator panel as is set forth in our hoa documents. These documents are on the hoa website. The adjudicator panel mechanism is not part of our hoa ccr or bylaws BTW. It is a separate document, actually two of them with different dates and revisions exist. There was some uncomfortable glances exchanged and the attorney asked us for a copy of these documents. He looked at them briefly and said he wasn't aware of this panel however I had already had many chances to be heard. A few minutes later he asked if he could speak with the BOD in private. We stepped out and we're retrieved about 15-20 minutes later. He reiterated that there no longer was an adjudicator panel. This panel/committee, he was j St informed by th bod, was disbanded because there were not any residents interested in being members of the the committee. I said this is bull shit and you are not going to listen to a Damn word I say anyway. He then suggested I think about using a mediator to settle the dispute. I told him I would reserve the right to do so however I am adamant that an adjudicator committee hearing is something I deserve AND something the BOD is obligated to allow. I said it isn't my responsibility to make sure that committees that are clearly stated as being available are manned, unmanned, disbanded, dissolved or whatever the state of the committee is. It is a committee that is said to exist on the hoa Web site along with the document defining the design and purpose of it. He said this isn't going to happen because, again, I had my chances and there no longer is such a committee.
It looks at this point that Iwill soon bbe putting my story out to the community. I planned on doing this if needed and it looks like I need to take this step. I'm also very interested in doing so quickly because the attorney alluded to the fact that I had threatened to do so in the past and th the the BOD will be making the community aware of the expense regarding the pond, the legal fees associated with this dispute and the details in regards to how and why this expense was incurred. I want to be proactive and get my short blurb about a possible bod message and how it relates to me. I am not going to go into details. I just feel like I need to get my email out to the neighborhood asap. If the residence read somewhere ng the BOD puts out before I do it may paint a poor and inaccurate picture of me and how this entire situation is represented. Thanks for the ongoing support. If there are any new tip bits I'll be here letting you know.
Please excuse the Grammer and lack of paragraph use. I am using my phone to make this entry.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/19/2015 10:22 AM  
The meeting yesterday was much worse than I expected. We arrived about 10 minutes early and the entire bod was at a table. There were not enough chairs for me, my wife and my BIL, whom I decided to ask to attend as an extra set of ears. They had to bring in 4 additional chairs so even if it was just me there would have been a need for them to make room. I feel this was a tactic used to make it uncomfortable for me right off the bat.
The attorney came in and said to me, "ok, so you have asked for this meeting, what is it you would like to say". I said that the first thing I'd like to ask is how is the BOD justified in billing me for work that they ordered to have done". Before I was even done asking the question he interrupted me and said, "hold on, you requested a meeting with the BOD. This is not a place for you to ask questions and the BOD will not be answering any questions". I said I asked for a meeting and was told that this was a meeting and not a hearing. A meeting is where people discuss issues and there is dialogue etc. We are here in an effort to resolve a conflict and if I cannot ask questions of the board then how is it possible to go forward and work toward a resolution. "

It pretty much went Don Hill from there. He said I was already given ample time by the BOD to argue my case with them.
The hoa attorney and and I, as well as my wife and BIL, went back and forth with the attorney basically beating a dead horse about how the BOD released me from the prior dispute and we talked about other things as well. Mainly things that I tried to explore lain as evidence that I was in full compliance with the BOD as as far as the previous dispute goes. At one point my BIL tried to argue on my behalf and the attorney was extremely rude to him and said that he was not invited and that he has no right to make any statements.
The attorney, and and the BOD, maintain that I did not satisfy their requirements. I presented minutes of bod meetings that clearly stated that the the hard was happy to have resolved the issue with me and that they were sending a thank you letter. The battery board member that said to me, "Howard, aren't you glad this pond issue is going to be behind you" during my final meeting with the BOD in November of 2013 was seated right next to me and at a couple of different times during the meeting I asked him did he not remember asking me this rhetorical question. He said he may have asked me this but didn't remember specifically.

I tried to be as compelling as I could be and I offered many other facts and historical data that showed that the BOD was over the pond issue but it was to no avail. I said asked them if I was not in compliance with their demands regarding the items set forth by them to correct my errors then why would they ask me to help the contractor that they hired? Why would they ask me to use my personal pump to keep the ground water out of the hole while he fixed it by fill ng it N? Why was I never given any indication that I would be held responsible for a single dime regarding the central ed work that they decided to get done.

It was clear the hoa atty had instructed the BOD to keep silent. On the rare occasions where they spoke they first looked at him for approval to do so.

Near the end of the meeting I could see they were there to do nothing other than consider any monetary offer I may put out. At this point is asked about being heard by an adjudicator panel as is set forth in our hoa documents. These documents are on the hoa website. The adjudicator panel mechanism is not part of our hoa ccr or bylaws BTW. It is a separate document, actually two of them with different dates and revisions exist. There was some uncomfortable glances exchanged and the attorney asked us for a copy of these documents. He looked at them briefly and said he wasn't aware of this panel however I had already had many chances to be heard. A few minutes later he asked if he could speak with the BOD in private. We stepped out and we're retrieved about 15-20 minutes later. He reiterated that there no longer was an adjudicator panel. This panel/committee, he was j St informed by th bod, was disbanded because there were not any residents interested in being members of the the committee. I said this is bull shit and you are not going to listen to a Damn word I say anyway. He then suggested I think about using a mediator to settle the dispute. I told him I would reserve the right to do so however I am adamant that an adjudicator committee hearing is something I deserve AND something the BOD is obligated to allow. I said it isn't my responsibility to make sure that committees that are clearly stated as being available are manned, unmanned, disbanded, dissolved or whatever the state of the committee is. It is a committee that is said to exist on the hoa Web site along with the document defining the design and purpose of it. He said this isn't going to happen because, again, I had my chances and there no longer is such a committee.
It looks at this point that Iwill soon bbe putting my story out to the community. I planned on doing this if needed and it looks like I need to take this step. I'm also very interested in doing so quickly because the attorney alluded to the fact that I had threatened to do so in the past and th the the BOD will be making the community aware of the expense regarding the pond, the legal fees associated with this dispute and the details in regards to how and why this expense was incurred. I want to be proactive and get my short blurb about a possible bod message and how it relates to me. I am not going to go into details. I just feel like I need to get my email out to the neighborhood asap. If the residence read somewhere ng the BOD puts out before I do it may paint a poor and inaccurate picture of me and how this entire situation is represented. Thanks for the ongoing support. If there are any new tip bits I'll be here letting you know.
Please excuse the Grammer and lack of paragraph use. I am using my phone to make this entry.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/19/2015 10:22 AM  
The meeting yesterday was much worse than I expected. We arrived about 10 minutes early and the entire bod was at a table. There were not enough chairs for me, my wife and my BIL, whom I decided to ask to attend as an extra set of ears. They had to bring in 4 additional chairs so even if it was just me there would have been a need for them to make room. I feel this was a tactic used to make it uncomfortable for me right off the bat.
The attorney came in and said to me, "ok, so you have asked for this meeting, what is it you would like to say". I said that the first thing I'd like to ask is how is the BOD justified in billing me for work that they ordered to have done". Before I was even done asking the question he interrupted me and said, "hold on, you requested a meeting with the BOD. This is not a place for you to ask questions and the BOD will not be answering any questions". I said I asked for a meeting and was told that this was a meeting and not a hearing. A meeting is where people discuss issues and there is dialogue etc. We are here in an effort to resolve a conflict and if I cannot ask questions of the board then how is it possible to go forward and work toward a resolution. "

It pretty much went Don Hill from there. He said I was already given ample time by the BOD to argue my case with them.
The hoa attorney and and I, as well as my wife and BIL, went back and forth with the attorney basically beating a dead horse about how the BOD released me from the prior dispute and we talked about other things as well. Mainly things that I tried to explore lain as evidence that I was in full compliance with the BOD as as far as the previous dispute goes. At one point my BIL tried to argue on my behalf and the attorney was extremely rude to him and said that he was not invited and that he has no right to make any statements.
The attorney, and and the BOD, maintain that I did not satisfy their requirements. I presented minutes of bod meetings that clearly stated that the the hard was happy to have resolved the issue with me and that they were sending a thank you letter. The battery board member that said to me, "Howard, aren't you glad this pond issue is going to be behind you" during my final meeting with the BOD in November of 2013 was seated right next to me and at a couple of different times during the meeting I asked him did he not remember asking me this rhetorical question. He said he may have asked me this but didn't remember specifically.

I tried to be as compelling as I could be and I offered many other facts and historical data that showed that the BOD was over the pond issue but it was to no avail. I said asked them if I was not in compliance with their demands regarding the items set forth by them to correct my errors then why would they ask me to help the contractor that they hired? Why would they ask me to use my personal pump to keep the ground water out of the hole while he fixed it by fill ng it N? Why was I never given any indication that I would be held responsible for a single dime regarding the central ed work that they decided to get done.

It was clear the hoa atty had instructed the BOD to keep silent. On the rare occasions where they spoke they first looked at him for approval to do so.

Near the end of the meeting I could see they were there to do nothing other than consider any monetary offer I may put out. At this point is asked about being heard by an adjudicator panel as is set forth in our hoa documents. These documents are on the hoa website. The adjudicator panel mechanism is not part of our hoa ccr or bylaws BTW. It is a separate document, actually two of them with different dates and revisions exist. There was some uncomfortable glances exchanged and the attorney asked us for a copy of these documents. He looked at them briefly and said he wasn't aware of this panel however I had already had many chances to be heard. A few minutes later he asked if he could speak with the BOD in private. We stepped out and we're retrieved about 15-20 minutes later. He reiterated that there no longer was an adjudicator panel. This panel/committee, he was j St informed by th bod, was disbanded because there were not any residents interested in being members of the the committee. I said this is bull shit and you are not going to listen to a Damn word I say anyway. He then suggested I think about using a mediator to settle the dispute. I told him I would reserve the right to do so however I am adamant that an adjudicator committee hearing is something I deserve AND something the BOD is obligated to allow. I said it isn't my responsibility to make sure that committees that are clearly stated as being available are manned, unmanned, disbanded, dissolved or whatever the state of the committee is. It is a committee that is said to exist on the hoa Web site along with the document defining the design and purpose of it. He said this isn't going to happen because, again, I had my chances and there no longer is such a committee.
It looks at this point that Iwill soon bbe putting my story out to the community. I planned on doing this if needed and it looks like I need to take this step. I'm also very interested in doing so quickly because the attorney alluded to the fact that I had threatened to do so in the past and th the the BOD will be making the community aware of the expense regarding the pond, the legal fees associated with this dispute and the details in regards to how and why this expense was incurred. I want to be proactive and get my short blurb about a possible bod message and how it relates to me. I am not going to go into details. I just feel like I need to get my email out to the neighborhood asap. If the residence read somewhere ng the BOD puts out before I do it may paint a poor and inaccurate picture of me and how this entire situation is represented. Thanks for the ongoing support. If there are any new tip bits I'll be here letting you know.
Please excuse the Grammer and lack of paragraph use. I am using my phone to make this entry.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/19/2015 10:52 AM  
Good for you Howard. Nice summary. Am sure that it was frustrating.

BIL = brother in law?

You are right. They cannot go into private session and agree secretly to disband a right that existed prior to going into prior session. That's hogwash.

Keep in mind that as far as reputations go, you and the board members sit in very different shoes. The board has a fiduciary responsibility. You don't. Because they are elected officials, you can say almost anything you want against their behaviors and practices without repercussion. And because they are elected officials and you are not, anything they do to impugn your character is grounds for a lawsuit by you against each of the board members individually.

Don't let the lawyer's rants and threats get to you. That's his stock and trade. He does that for a living. And if that's the type of lawyer that your board wants working for them, then that's an indication of how weak and pathetic they are.

I applaud you for demanding a dialog. And I applaud you for demanding an arbitration panel.

Mediation may be a solution. If it does go that route, demand that the HOA attorney not be present because he was abusive to you and you wife and you do not want to put your family through that stress again. (I seem to remember that was one of your original concerns in your earlier postings).

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/19/2015 12:10 PM  
Well where to begin.

First I have to agree with the attorney the BIL has no role in this.

Once you escalate a matter to the point it now includes lawyers there is no going back to individual to individual exchanges.

My opinion it would be difficult if not impossible to now exclude the legal representative for the HOA going forward.

And it would make no sense for the board to decide this should be handled by the lawyer and then override them at such a meeting.

CLEARY there must be a dispute as to the facts in this matter by the two sides.

In my view this is headed to a resolution in court.

And I would strongly advise this party to lawyer up immediately prior to taking any further action so as to prevent harming their own position.

Deciding it is best to now air this to the other owners might do more harm than any good.

Never go into a meeting with a lawyer without a lawyer. Like going to a gun fight without bringing a gun.

The time to settle this on your own has passed. This is a legal matter and to improve your chances you need legal representation.

NOT ONLINE LEGAL OPINIONS.
JohnB26


Posts:0


02/19/2015 1:44 PM  
OR,

You can have a fool for a client and continue to represent yourself.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


02/19/2015 3:20 PM  
Howard

As soon as you saw their attorney you should have said I was expecting a "chat" not an "inquisition" so I will be leaving now and contacting my attorney. Ya'll have a good night.

My advice is stop playing lawyer.

HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/19/2015 4:25 PM  
Thanks for the input.
I am having a consultation with another attorney on Tuesday. I feel the attorney I had was not interested in representing me any longer. I amy have already stated this so I'm sorry if I repeat myself.

I agree it is not a good practice to go into a meeting in which the party you are meeting with is going to have an attorney. The fact of the matter is that emailed my attorney a week before the meeting asking him if he will be attending or if he thinks I should go alone. He did not respond and after a week of not hearing anything I emailed him again saying I was going to go alone. He responded by saying it was probably a good idea and that it would reduce the "lawyer effect" in his words. I honestly have to agree in hindsight. As it turned out the BOD was muted by the HOA attorney and, had my lawyer joined the meeting, I feel it is very likely that the two attorneys would have just gone back and forth and it would have cost me over $500.00 and I'd have not been able to get a single point across. I am glad he stayed home.

I also agree that I should not email the community at his point and I have shelved this idea. My thought was to put out a very benign letter to simply inform people what may lie ahead news wise from our BOD. I am confident they will not be making any information regarding the expenditure they authorised available to the community because it is in the hands of the lawyer. I believe the BOD is calling the attorney prior to bathroom visits at their personal homes in order to gain permission to proceed with normal hygienic behavior. That is just a guess of course. I have no proof of such.

I am hopeful the new attorney will be as appalled as I am that the HOA has unilaterally disbanded the adjudicatory committee but I am more hopeful that he will give me some assurance that he feels my case is a strong one and that he will see it through.

The more I thought about how yesterdays meeting went the more I am thinking I did very well for myself. Typically I am not very proud of myself when it comes to my performance in stating my position. I don't enjoy arguing and when I happen to get into a verbal conflict I usually spend the next day asking myself why didn't I say this or that. I can't say that about yesterday. I did repeat myself quite often but if I didn't do that I'd have been faced with either an awkward silence or I'd have gone off track. Yesterday I stayed well within the KISS talking points. Several times the lawyer took what is said and manipulated it in a manner that allowed him, in his mind anyway, to take off on a tangent that suited his argument and the argument/position of the BOD. Whenever he did this I, without hesitation, made it clear that he is not addressing the topic of my question and/or statement. Obviously this does not phase a attorney and he continued on trying to make a point where there was none.

Another thing I gained from the meeting was an increased confidence that I am right in my position. I had material with me from past BOD minutes that are available to the community via the management company web site as well as a list of talking points from this forum, thank you very much, and other documents as well. In order to get my moneys worth, being that I was being faced with a BOD that was not permitted to speak, I talked about my position over and over again mainly addressing 4-5 pieces of evidence that the BOD had released me from the original dispute. As I did this I reviewed my notes and varied my presentation while talking about a common main point. This was helpful to my psyche and made it as clear as ever that I am on solid ground. It doesn't mean I'll win but I am on solid ground.

There were a couple of times in which the board was allowed to remove the tape from their mouths and spout off. With a nod from the attorney one, two and sometimes more members of the BOD would address something the lawyer thought was ok to talk about. The only topics they would talk about were items pertaining to time periods prior to them giving me the ok the "the pond issue has been resolved".This gave me the opportunity to really dig in and steer the conversation in a way that helped me make several points that I was not able to get into in the early part of the meeting. Specifically I was able to make it clear that:
I was NEVER informed of ANY financial responsibility for the work they contracted.
I made it very clear that the contractor that gave the estimate should have been held to this amount and not been allowed to bill, and collect, another 115% above and beyond the original estimate. They had repeatedly, or the attorney I should say, said they overage was due to an innaccurate estimate of the pond depth. He actually mentioned this several times and each time I was able to respond with a different, inarguable IMO, reason as to why and how this claim is ridiculous. He would not be dissuaded of course but it felt good to lob soft balls at him and the position he is representing for the BOD. I told him that I was never asked to participate in estimating the amount of fill dirt needed. He said that I was asked by the board member next to me how deep the pond was and I corrected him regarding the context in which the number I gave in response to the question was framed. I told him the BOD member, that was seated directly to my right, was standing near the pond and talking with the contractor. I walked over and started making small talk and he asked me in a very casual manner, "Hey Howard, how deep do you think the far end of the pond is" and I said, "ah, Bob, I'd say it's about four feet". He asked my the question like he was asking me if my joints hurt and if I thought it was going to rain tomorrow. I asked the lawyer if he would consider this a binding estimate?. I spoke to the head of the BOD member next to me and asked him if he took my answer to his casual, conversational question as a hard estimate for work that I WAS NOT asked to do and that I WAS NOT at all involved in. He just nodded and sort of said,"well um yea"

The lawyer didn't want to let go of trying to hold me responsible for the gross miscalculation. He should have grasped a different straw for sure because he certainly got the short end of that one. I told him there is not a chance in hell that I thought for a fleeting second I was going to be holding the bag for filling in the pond. I told him I would hae filled the pond in a long time ago IF I thought it was economically feasible. I mentioned that I had talked with an excavation contractor that happened to be working on a lot close by and that the contractor followed me back to the pond and took a look. He said there is no way to truck dirt back there and that it would cost a crazy amount of money and that I' have to remove trees from my lot to allow trucks to get to the pond. I told the attorney I dismissed this idea because of a professionals opinion. I went on (I know, and on and on and on) to tell him IF I was told the BOD wanted the pond filled in at my expense then I would have been the one getting it done and that I would have made a 3D profile of the area to be filled in and allowed another 75% over this amount because I know that you cant fill in a pond the same way you fill in a hole in solid ground. I also mentioned that the contractor was able to access the pond whereas I was not able to, by making a path through an empty neighboring. He did so without the permission of the lot owner. He removed trees and cut down branches and was required to make repairs to the damage he did after the lot owner found out her lot was being used as a transport route for dirt hauling dump trucks. I told the attorney I am not in the dirt hauling business but I could become part of that fraternity tomorrow and immediately do a much better job than the joker they hired.

I could go even longer with this noise but I am tired of correcting my misspelled words and I;m tired of reading them as well.

I can only imagine how anyone else that reads this feels.

My condolences.

Sorry for the rant as usual.
Howard
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/19/2015 5:16 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/19/2015 3:20 PM
Howard

As soon as you saw their attorney you should have said I was expecting a "chat" not an "inquisition" so I will be leaving now and contacting my attorney. Ya'll have a good night.

My advice is stop playing lawyer.





Thanks for the input but I have to respectfully disagree.

I made the trip downtown to the lawyers office. My wife took off early from work to attend the meeting. When I got to the meeting and was told it was a hearing (not an inquisition) I made it clear this was portrayed to be a meeting A meeting where people have a discussion etc. Once I knew this was out the door I felt that the least I could get out of the inconvenience I was put through was to make several points whether the ottorney or the BOD wished to participate was up to them. I was going to be heard if nothing else. I made the right decision in staying BTW. There were many times where the attorney and the BOD looked surprised and confused. I know for certain there were several things I said that the attorney was not aware of and the BOD did not argue.

I did have a second, after I understood this was not going to be a meeting, where I entertained the idea of taking my ball and going home and I am glad I didn't. doing so would have accomplished absolutely nothing and I feel I accomplished a great deal by exposing several things to the attorney that the BOD had withheld.

BTW - I am not "playing lawyer". I have no reason to think I have the experience or education to "play lawyer". I was put in a situation where I did not have legal representation. Looking back this was a good thing. I wasn't going to roll (or bend) over because the environment was not what I expected. I am a fighter my friend, not a quitter. If I had just walked out I know I would have regretted it deeply. I had my say and then some and they had to listen. It was productive for me and my case without doubt.

I don't imagine everyone handles every situation the same but I can't see your viewpoint on this at all. I respect other people and to be disrespected by an attorney that agreed to a meeting is not something I'll allow to happen with just a huff and a puff and a jingling of my car keys.

I think that if I were the lawyer and I saw me walk out because things were not my way I'd be calling me a little Sally and several other names that I don't want to mention for fear of being mistakenly thought of as a sexist.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/19/2015 6:41 PM  
Howard
You have grown immensely over the course of this thread. You began in fear and turmoil. And now you present your issues with flair. Whatever the outcome, I think that this experience has rightfully boosted your self esteem. Nice nice nice job.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 5:49 AM  
It would seem to me from what was described that nothing of any real value was accomplished in regards to settling this matter in a positive way.

Seems this OP wishes to view their performance as positive though it accomplished little.

Again, best to get a lawyer.
Again, best to get a lawyer versed in HOA matters.
Best to cease dwelling on unimportant side points like who won which point or exchange.
And when and if you hire a lawyer best to allow them to do their job rather than try to prove you own case. Seems this OP doesn't understand when represented best to listen rather than speak. Just as this board seems to have done despite this OP being unhappy with their behavior.
Again, this is a legal matter and contacting the other owners at this point would be a bad move which accomplishes what? Other than making you feel like you did something.


Best to meet with this lawyer explain the facts only minus what you feel are your own key opinions, allow them to judge the case and then allow them to handle this minus your public input.

Best to avoid keeping score on your own as to who is winning the minor battles along the way but rather work to win the war in the end.

Prevailing in this case might be tough enough best not to make it even more difficult with some selfdestructive behavior.

Better find a competent lawyer who feels you have a case that is now your best option.

AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/20/2015 5:58 AM  
Howard,
GOOD FOR YOU! Things didn't turn out exactly as you planned but you were able to make your points and you made their jaws drop a couple of times, they needed that! It seems like even though it wasn't a pleasant experience, you gained some valuable insight. You seeing their reaction face to face to your statements and questions was priceless IMO. Another positive is this gave you more of a feel for what your up against, and it seems like you've gained even more confidence. I feel it was important for their attorney to meet you and know you aren't just going to roll over, before this he may have had a different opinion of you and now he knows your not afraid to stand your ground. Sounds like you gave them plenty of food for thought, that they'll need to digest.

Good luck with your consultation with the new attorney. If you don't get a good feel for this one then consult with another. Trust your instincts.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/20/2015 7:05 AM  
I beg to differ Jon.

It's not a legal matter until someone files a lawsuit or a lien. And since Howard isn't going to initiate anything, the ball is in the HOA's court.

Until they file something, this is a game of poker. The board has seen that Howard isn't going to fold his cards just because they had a professional cardshark at the table. Howard saw that the attorney was ill prepared and the board may be fragmented. Nothing wrong with sizing up the competition.

Howard said that his previous lawyer did not respond properly - and Howard hired a replacement - Smart move.
Howard has demonstrated that he can speak on his own behalf and may only need his new lawyer for consultation. Or he may turn everything over to the new lawyer. To a large extent, that's a financial decision that Howard has to make after discussing things with his new lawyer.

The big question now is this: Since this was an official board meeting - What will go into the official record?

The reality is, Howard doesn't have to do anything. He can wait for the lien or the lawsuit or the meeting minutes - And he may find that the issue disappears because the board doesn't want to spend the money it could cost to go after Howard and possibly lose. (I have seen boards that never formally announce that they have given up on an issue, but they stop pursuing it.)

The next face-off will be before a judge, an arbitrator, or a mediator. None of these people would allow the HOA lawyer to run roughshod over Howard. Any of them would shut down or neutralize the HOA lawyer without hesitation. They will make every effort to balance the playing field - It's in their job description.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnB26


Posts:0


02/20/2015 7:05 AM  
..... I was given a letter stating that the BOD thanked me for completing the job to their satisfaction.


Wait for the court action ... show it to the judge ... petition for your costs !


all else is BLAH BLAH BLAH
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/20/2015 7:26 AM  
VERY WELL SAID.

NpS and JohnB

Howard, be prepared, but wait, let them make the next move (or not).
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4211


02/20/2015 9:13 AM  
Nice job ... Glad you stayed on the KISS talking points and not let attorney take you off topic. NpS already pointed out and summed up his thoughts Nd which would be similar to mine, so no point repeating. When you consult with attorney again keep to short topics such as:
1. You were released from liability for any prior actions you had taken.
2. HOA cannot bill only one single homeowner for work completed for common area property owned by the Association. This one is the main point as common expenses are to be shared by all owners equally for association owned property.
3. Get attorney opinion on whether you should wait for HOA to pursue. You want to make sure under your state laws whether ignoring a situation and not pursuing could hinder you in future if HOA files a lien.
4. Check whether HOA billing a single owner and trying to coerce one owner to pay for common expenses would violate any statute of fraud laws or debt collection statutes. Again, it boils down to trying to force one person to pay expenses for property owned by association and is not their personal property.
JohnB26


Posts:0


02/20/2015 9:42 AM  
just saying:

do not confuse easement with ownership

evidently something in an easement was changed by the actual owner

what a mess
JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 10:17 AM  
Posted By NpS on 02/20/2015 7:05 AM
I beg to differ Jon.

It's not a legal matter until someone files a lawsuit or a lien. And since Howard isn't going to initiate anything, the ball is in the HOA's court.

Until they file something, this is a game of poker. The board has seen that Howard isn't going to fold his cards just because they had a professional cardshark at the table. Howard saw that the attorney was ill prepared and the board may be fragmented. Nothing wrong with sizing up the competition.

Howard said that his previous lawyer did not respond properly - and Howard hired a replacement - Smart move.
Howard has demonstrated that he can speak on his own behalf and may only need his new lawyer for consultation. Or he may turn everything over to the new lawyer. To a large extent, that's a financial decision that Howard has to make after discussing things with his new lawyer.

The big question now is this: Since this was an official board meeting - What will go into the official record?

The reality is, Howard doesn't have to do anything. He can wait for the lien or the lawsuit or the meeting minutes - And he may find that the issue disappears because the board doesn't want to spend the money it could cost to go after Howard and possibly lose. (I have seen boards that never formally announce that they have given up on an issue, but they stop pursuing it.)

The next face-off will be before a judge, an arbitrator, or a mediator. None of these people would allow the HOA lawyer to run roughshod over Howard. Any of them would shut down or neutralize the HOA lawyer without hesitation. They will make every effort to balance the playing field - It's in their job description.





We'll we just have to disagree then. This is not now any sort of game.

And having read through the OP's description quite possible to me it wasn't as beneficial to him as he saw it.
He provided all his cards at a meeting with no bearing on a resolution.

And as I like to be prepared rather than wait for the next shoe to fall I would have my next move planned out prior to being served.

Once you are served win, lose or draw the meter is running.

I would avoid heading upstream with a position I can't win with.

And I view the change of lawyers as a possible sign either the OP picked the wrong lawyer or the OP perhaps was unwilling to hear what the lawyer said.

How many lawyers walk away from clients without good reason? None around here.

The OP seems to be willing to confuse the real issues with personality reviews, tactics and how many chairs were purposely placed in the room.
My bottom line do you have a legal leg to stand on with your position?

Only a lawyer can tell that hence my comment this IS a legal matter. The OP needs legal advice not endless go rounds that resolve nothing.

I would have a lawyer I had faith in review the facts, minus the personal feelings, and explain where I stood. That should have been done already prior to sitting down and discussing this with another lawyer who probalbly is better at this game than the OP.

As as far a mediation I have beenthrough a few hearings always with our lawyer. Never has the judge, mediator or anyone else attempted to muzzle or shut our attorney down. They are our legal representation and if you arrive in court unrepresented we don't then give up our counsel to level the playing field.

I am beginning to believe there is much more to this story. Most boards are not filled with groups of psychotics who wish to push issues they know they can't win. The lawyer stood explain to the board what sort of ground they are standing on.

Only time will tell but my advice tactical victories whether real or imagined in the end mean nothing. I would prepare myself with legal counsel versed in HOA matters immediately versus waiting for them to make the next move.

What the lien or compliant is served will be far to late.

Reading through the OP's posts there is far to much fluff unrelated to the legal issues at hand. Fluff or how you feel about the behavior of others means nothing. And I seriously doubt the HOA lawyer left the room that night shaken. They left with some more billable hours exactly what they live for.
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