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Subject: Swift enforcement of pool rules (and fines)? PART 2
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Author Messages
VeronicaV
(Arizona)

Posts:14


06/25/2020 9:06 AM  
You may recall me asking about enforcement of pool rules a while back. We have a fine policy now!! But...

How do others enforce pool rules?

We've developed a policy which includes fines and revocation of access, with a final threat of being trespassed after having access revoked but still being on the property. I hope it never comes to that, but we have to have something that we can point to when we try to enforce rules with some very entitled people.

I had talked to our local police department and they said that yes, they can trespass anyone who does not have fob access. But when some officers came out yesterday for a physical assault call, they said they could not trespass the perpetrators because they live here, despite not having fob access to the pool.

What are we supposed to do when our community security team can't get someone to remove glass from the pool after several warnings? We have fines, but those aren't assessed until 10 days after the resident has been notified of the potential fine. Our plan had been to revoke access on the spot (our attorney said that was ok), and then have them removed by the police if they didn't leave on their own.

Obviously there's a difference between simply having police remove them from the pool area and trespassing them. I don't actually want to trespass anyone, just kick them out until their access is restored, but it seems police are reluctant to get involved, even with just the kicking out part.

Has anyone else run into issues with police not being able to do anything? How do you enforce your rules when they require immediate action?
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/25/2020 9:11 AM  
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
[snip] it seems police are reluctant to get involved, even with just the kicking out part. Has anyone else run into issues with police not being able to do anything?
Yes. The response you had from the police is usual. The line from the police is typically, 'The police do not involve themselves in HOA disputes. The HOA has to go to civil court to get legal action.'

Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
How do you enforce your rules when they require immediate action?
Security guards and security camera. Though I believe nationwide, a security guard is not allowed to put her or his hands on a person. All the guard can do is write up the incident as an eyewitness account. Which counts for a lot.
VeronicaV
(Arizona)

Posts:14


06/25/2020 9:20 AM  
So you're saying there's nothing we can legally do to kick them out on the spot, ever? The police did say they'll respond to noise and disorderly conduct calls, so stuff like playing loud music would be handled by them. The question is what would they do? Fine them and/or remove them from the property? I guess some of our rules will have to be treated differently than others and we need to clarify at what point police will be able to get involved and to what extent.

We've also had a lot of people smoking marijuana even though we have a "no smoking/vaping anything" policy. I wonder how police would handle that...?

We did just install security cameras as well! Several residents (mostly renters) are mad already, so I hope that means we'll have fewer problems because they recognize they can't get away with breaking rules anymore. Still, it would nice to have a backup plan.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7333


06/25/2020 9:30 AM  
Don't you now have a fining policy for these violations of your rules? Calls to hearing and then fines?

Same thing with smoking anything. Call to hearing and fines?
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/25/2020 9:32 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/25/2020 9:11 AM
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
[snip] it seems police are reluctant to get involved, even with just the kicking out part. Has anyone else run into issues with police not being able to do anything?
Yes. The response you had from the police is usual. The line from the police is typically, 'The police do not involve themselves in HOA disputes. The HOA has to go to civil court to get legal action.'

Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
How do you enforce your rules when they require immediate action?
Security guards and security camera. Though I believe nationwide, a security guard is not allowed to put her or his hands on a person. All the guard can do is write up the incident as an eyewitness account. Which counts for a lot.



Try robbing a Las Vegas casino, or any casino for that matter and see what the security guards will do.
VeronicaV
(Arizona)

Posts:14


06/25/2020 9:32 AM  
Well, yes, but all of those take time. How do you kick people out immediately for continuously violating a bunch of rules all day? At what point can the police legally do something? Sounds like the answer is "never"...
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/25/2020 9:34 AM  
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:20 AM
So you're saying there's nothing we can legally do to kick them out on the spot, ever? The police did say they'll respond to noise and disorderly conduct calls, so stuff like playing loud music would be handled by them. The question is what would they do? Fine them and/or remove them from the property? I guess some of our rules will have to be treated differently than others and we need to clarify at what point police will be able to get involved and to what extent.

We've also had a lot of people smoking marijuana even though we have a "no smoking/vaping anything" policy. I wonder how police would handle that...?

We did just install security cameras as well! Several residents (mostly renters) are mad already, so I hope that means we'll have fewer problems because they recognize they can't get away with breaking rules anymore. Still, it would nice to have a backup plan.



Police are to enforce municipal and state code, not enforce your HOA governing docs.
VeronicaV
(Arizona)

Posts:14


06/25/2020 9:52 AM  
@MarkW18

So you're saying we are unable to kick anyone out ourselves and the police won't do anything either?

As an example, our pool closes at 11pm. Our community security goes in around 11pm and tells everyone to leave. What happens if they don't leave? How does security make them leave? They're trespassing at that point; they're not allowed to be there, yet the police wouldn't do anything about it?
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/25/2020 10:31 AM  
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:52 AM
@MarkW18

So you're saying we are unable to kick anyone out ourselves and the police won't do anything either?

As an example, our pool closes at 11pm. Our community security goes in around 11pm and tells everyone to leave. What happens if they don't leave? How does security make them leave? They're trespassing at that point; they're not allowed to be there, yet the police wouldn't do anything about it?



You need to work with your security company
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7333


06/25/2020 11:34 AM  
IF they won't leave when they're supposed to, call them to a hearing & fine them. Fines work even if you don't get the immediate results you want. Our schedule of fines permits doubling them after each violation.

I also agree with MarkW--your board should met with the security company's contract person and discuss these topics.

But n the long run, your Board must take action as swiftly as possible. It's part of the job!
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/25/2020 12:25 PM  
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:20 AM
So you're saying there's nothing we can legally do to kick them out on the spot, ever?
If push comes to shove, this is what you can do:
Posted By AugustinD on 06/25/2020 9:11 AM
The HOA has to go to civil court to get legal action.'
The HOA would start with injunctive relief (meaning an order for the person not to use the pool), as part of the terms of the contract.

Fining by the HOA is less expensive.

As for Mark's naive remark regarding security guards assaulting a citizen, here is an introduction to the topic:
"Have you ever wondered, “Can you sue a security guard?”
The answer is, yes. You can sue a security guard if he or she assaulted or harmed you and you were not threatening them. Because security guards are not law enforcement officers, they do not have the same rights that police officers do. Security guards cannot physically touch citizens beyond what is defined as “minimally necessary” to stop a crime or prevent a dangerous or unlawful situation. When wondering whether or not you can sue a security guard, remember that a guard’s role is to ensure safety, but not at the expense of your legal rights.

The one exception to this is self-defense (which is the exception that every citizen possesses whether a security guard or not). If you or another person is wielding a firearm or other weapon and pointing it at a security guard, then they have the right to protect themselves by trying to deflect or restrain the person with the weapon.

Legal action is one way that society maintains the balance between the need for security services and the potential for its abuse. If you have been injured or assaulted by a security guard, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit asking for damages." For more, see https://thestoddardfirm.com/can-you-sue-security-guard/
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/25/2020 12:35 PM  
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:52 AM
As an example, our pool closes at 11pm. Our community security goes in around 11pm and tells everyone to leave. What happens if they don't leave? How does security make them leave? They're trespassing at that point;
Would you please look up the definition of criminal trespass in Arizona, and then use it to explain why you think what is happening is trespassing? Because I am not seeing a violation of Arizona criminal trespassing statutes. For example: Suppose the HOA instructs HOA member John Doe that he may not use the pool until ____ happens. The problem is that John Doe is a co-owner of the common property, including the pool area. This is a legal fact. For the HOA to claim, as co-owner of the property, that John Doe is criminally trespassing on property he co-owns will not fly in criminal court. Instead what the HOA has is grounds for a civil suit to enforce the covenants.

As a board member, one has to start trying to grasp what the typical attorney spends several years learning (through law school, passing the bar, and practicing law).
DavidF22
(New York)

Posts:55


06/25/2020 12:46 PM  
At our pool, the Board last year was actually in cahoots with the maintenance company to skirt health department rules on water monitoring. The company is supposed to check water three times a day — early morning, midday and late afternoon — but our board allowed them to perform the three readings between 10 am and noon. Sometimes the company monitor would arrive at 10 and leave at 11, entering a false noon reading before departing.

Pool’s not open yet due to coronavirus, but if they handle sanitary monitoring the same way this year, the health department’s gonna get a call from me.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/25/2020 12:48 PM  
Reason 55,666 why I'm SO GLAD we finally got rid of our pool!

We didn't have a fining system, but hired off duty cops to serve as our pool monitor. This happened after several ineffective pool monitors - some were irresponsible and didn't show up half the time, and others were easily intimidated (we did have some scary residents with scarier guests at the time). Those pool monitors were given a list to check off people with passes (see next paragraph). Everyone had to have a pass, and the homeowner had to be there with his/her guests (we didn't allow Grandpa to hand off the passes and let the kids run over while he sat in the house doing whatever). If you were a delinquent homeowner, you didn't get a pass and you couldn't use a neighbor's pass to get in. Your tenants couldn't use a pass either.

We were sending out pool passes automatically but then began requiring people to submit written requests to save money on printing and postage. If you were an owner/landlord (we have lots of those around here), you had to submit the request, not your tenants. Before you got the passes (4 per household), the owner (including the landlords) had to sign an agreement stating you, your household and your guests would comply by the rules - failure or refusal could lead to you getting kicked out for the day and repeat offenses would get you banned for the rest of the season.

In one case, we issued a complete ban against one homeowner because everyone on her passes always caused some sort of mayhem. She protested but backed down when we replayed some of her family's greatest misses and warned her all of it would be presented in court if she wanted to go there. It didn't help that the police were well acquainted with her for this and other issues - eventually, she moved out.

You don't say if your community security are folks from the neighborhood or professionals - if you're paying them, it appears their warnings aren't working. For something like glass, the rule should be clear - no glass in or around the pool(see what I did there?) First you get a warning, then it gets confiscated and you get kicked out. If you don't leave on your own, you'll be escorted out.

If you have repeat offenders, it's time to either limit their use of the pool altogether or ban them for the rest of the season. You should be documenting all the bad behavior (photos and witness statements) so you can send a notice to the homeowner telling them what's what. If you can revoke access on the spot, do it. Of course people will yell and threaten lawsuit - tell them to bring it. If you've documented and issued the proper warnings, you should countersue THEM to reimburse the Association for its legal costs incurred in enforcing its rules.

Send everyone a strongly worded letter telling them the new policies effective immediately. I'd also state that if homeowners and their guests DON'T follow the rules, the board will consider shutting down the pool for the ENTIRE SUMMER. Encourage everyone to speak up if they see a neighbor acting up - sometimes self regulations work better than any fine because kids and teens HATE being deprived of something because Bobby's crazy ass cousin didn't know how to act.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:989


06/25/2020 10:08 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 06/25/2020 9:32 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 06/25/2020 9:11 AM
Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
[snip] it seems police are reluctant to get involved, even with just the kicking out part. Has anyone else run into issues with police not being able to do anything?
Yes. The response you had from the police is usual. The line from the police is typically, 'The police do not involve themselves in HOA disputes. The HOA has to go to civil court to get legal action.'

Posted By VeronicaV on 06/25/2020 9:06 AM
How do you enforce your rules when they require immediate action?
Security guards and security camera. Though I believe nationwide, a security guard is not allowed to put her or his hands on a person. All the guard can do is write up the incident as an eyewitness account. Which counts for a lot.



Try robbing a Las Vegas casino, or any casino for that matter and see what the security guards will do.




Won't do anything, observe and report. At any given time there may be a police officer on-duty on the property to make arrests, but that is typically for drunk and disorderly conduct.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:989


06/25/2020 10:16 PM  
Meet with your local police department to find out why responding officers are not issuing trespass citations. Find out from your local police if a certified security officer can issue trespass citations. If all else fails get your corporate council to draft cease and desist orders to offenders.Make the cost part of your fining structure.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Swift enforcement of pool rules (and fines)? PART 2



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