Help suing the board

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  • #374648
    0liverm3
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    Has anybody here ever sued their board before? How did it go? And what advice can you give me?

    #374649
    damsme29
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    May I ask why you’re suing?

    #374650
    0liverm3
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    They have been harassing me nonstop for a “violation” but I didnt violate crap. I parked my truck in my driveway and they said it shouldnt be there but I cant even find the rule that says I cant do that. They say I owe $600dollars but they aint got no proof for it.

    #374651
    damsme29
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    There’s a lot to unpack here.

    First, what you’re describing it probably not harassment. Harassment is “unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.”

    Second, ask them what rule they claim you’re violating. The first notice of violation should have outlined that. It might not be a parking issue but a vehicle issue.

    Third, fines can add up over time. But there might be a limit to how much they can fine you. Check your state laws and declaration.

    #374652
    0liverm3
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    They keep sending me letters and calling me – if that aint harassment then what is!!

    #374653
    minhari19
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    Before jumping straight to a lawsuit, I advise you to resolve this dispute internally first. Talk to the board. They should’ve given you a chance to appear at a hearing to present your case. If that doesn’t work, consider alternative dispute resolution. You can go into a mediation or an arbitration. These options are much more economical and less damaging than a lawsuit. Keep in mind that a lawsuit doesn’t only affect you and the HOA or board. It also affects EVERYONE in your community. All homeowners will suffer from this because they will be the ones paying the dues that will cover the cost of the suit. Lawsuits should be the last resort.

    #374654
    damsme29
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    The above comment is correct. Lawsuits can be very exhausting, drawn out, and tedious. They’re also incredibly expensive. If you’re not confident about winning, don’t go through with it. You also need to gather a ton of evidence to prove your case. But if you feel like you have no other choice, go ahead. Just be mindful.

    #374655
    crmdog12
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    Let me ask you guys this. My HOA is suing me. Here are the facts.
    1) They accused us of a violation, Exterior Colors and Materials with the article #. Never once did they give us the definition of the violation because it had nothing to do with the color of a door. Color is only mentioned in the title.
    2) They promised to meet with us, never did.
    3) Told us the “bylaws clearly state” and there is a ‘strict policy’ on exterior colors. I understand everyone’s governing documents usually regulate colors, but if that’s the case shouldn’t that be presented as our violation?
    4) When we turned in the color to be approved, they violated the 15 day max bylaw and denied a color we never turned in.
    5) They offered the help of their interior designer. We emailed the designer and copied property manager only to hear back a month later while the board fined us.
    6) I asked for a legal opinion, they said they received it and legal would be in touch within the week. They either never got it or never allowed us to see it.
    7) Went in front of justice of the peace, she wasn’t qualified to hear the case, but we busted a board member in 2 lies with proof. On top of everything else, how can this be considered ‘acting in good faith.’

    If you can’t find the bylaw and they can’t present one to you, sue the crap out of them. Harassment is aggressive pressure or intimidation and that is what they are attempting to do.

    #374745
    damsme29
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    @crmdog12

    1. They gave you the article number. Did you reference it in your CC&Rs or bylaws? Check the article in your CC&Rs or bylaws and read it through to make sure you’re not in violation of anything.
    2. A disciplinary hearing is required in most states before your HOA slaps you with a fine or disciplinary action. Check your state laws first. But you should also check your governing documents.
    3. See #1.
    4. Check your application process. Does it say that a failure to respond is an automatic approval? If they “denied a color you never turned in,” go back and check those docs. Prove your case.

    Suing is not always the first answer, but it can sometimes be the only answer if you’re in the right and your HOA is uncooperative. But you gotta prove your case with evidence. If your HOA is suing you, get a good lawyer. You’ll need all the above and prove them to win.

    #374785
    crmdog12
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    Thank you for responding. I promise I have plenty to do than deal with these unreasonable clowns. All I am trying to understand is what bylaw did we violate. They have never shown us after multiple requests, they just say ‘the bylaws state.’ If they would show me where, this would be over.

    This is our said violation for replacing and painting our rotted door.

    8.17
    Exterior Materials and Colors. The exterior of the residence and all accessory buildings shall be constructed of stucco, synthetic stucco (Dryvit or equal), brick or siding approved by the Committee. All siding must be wood or synthetic single board lap siding subject to the approval of the Committee. Imitation stone, imitation brick and lava rock are expressly prohibited.

    3 months later, this is their explanation of 8.17. My understanding is the documents must be clear!
    Section 8.17 was referenced based on the section title and intent for it to address both exterior colors and materials. It is unfortunate that the builder focused on the materials part in the text, but this does not change the authority of the board to approve changes stated in earlier sections

    8.37
    Lot Maintenance. Each Owner shall be responsible for maintaining the Owner’s Lot (including, without limitation, the residence, the driveway and all landscaping) in good repair and in a clean and orderly fashion at all times and shall keep the Lot mowed and free of weeds and clean of trash, rubbish, or garbage. The exterior of each building located on a Lot (including garages and other approved buildings) must be reasonably maintained, including painting any replacement of roofs, gutters, downspouts and exterior building surfaces and any other necessary maintenance including the replacement of windows, doors or shutters when necessary. In the event an Owner fails ……. the Association may perform the required maintenance work and the Association

    4.5
    Time for Review. The Committee shall issue its written approval or disapproval of plans or proposals submitted to it anytime within fifteen (15) days after submission. Submission shall not be considered to have accrued until all information reasonably requested by the Committee shall have been furnished by the Owner or a representative of the Owner. Failure of the Committee to either approve or disapprove properly submitted plans or proposals within fifteen
    (15) days of submission shall constitute approval thereof.

    Ive got this and more; in 8.17 explanation it says something about ‘earlier sections.’ There are no earlier sections and if there were, that should have been our violation. They promised a meeting on multiple occasions, never happened. They said they received the legal opinion I requested, never gave it to us.

    The door color the board recommended is a door color that 2 weeks earlier, the property manager told me this color had not been approved. Basically, the recommended an unapproved color for an unapproved color. Just to show you the class which I am dealing, my son and his 3 friends went to the pool. Prior to them being at the pool, chairs were thrown in the pool which they called vandalism. The original culprits had 3 kids; my sons group had 4. They falsely and intentionally accused my son and his friends of vandalism, so they put the picture’s from the pool video out on FB and blast email. I immediately asked for the video, turns out when my son and his friends entered the gate, the pool already had the chairs in it and they had to crop one kid out of the photo to make it look as 3 (like the culprits) instead of the 4 they had.

    Sorry again for the long explanation and not one thing I have said is the least bit exaggerated.

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