Who’s suing the HOA now? (Feb 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

This month: class action lawsuit involving special assessment for balcony defects; homeowner sues claiming racial discrimination; HOA refuses to allow veteran to put up a flagpole and fly the American flag

Georgia: Class action lawsuit says condo association relied on fake building engineer’s advice, and it cost unit owners $5,000 apiece

According to a report from WSB-TV, several years ago, homeowners of 1280 West condominium were forced to pay $5,000 to cover $2 million worth of balcony railing repairs.

Owners in the high-rise building later found out that their condo association could have filed an insurance claim to cover most of the cost to repair damages. But instead, according to the lawsuit, the condo board relied on the management company’s building engineer, Joe David, to advise them of the best course of action.

There was just one problem: Joe David is not a certified engineer, and never was. So the condo association relied upon a fake expert, and apparently issued a $2 million special assessment in error.

Current and former condo owners who paid $5,000 to the HOA are now suing to get their money back. They are represented by Attorney Matt Wetherington.

Condo owners in Midtown high rise file suit over balcony repair bills

By: Jim Strickland
Posted: Feb 13, 2019 03:52 PM EST
Updated: Feb 13, 2019 06:22 PM EST

ATLANTA – The residents of a familiar Midtown high rise are suing their homeowners association after paying thousands to fix their crumbling balconies.

Residents of 1280 West said they were forced to pay $5,000, whether or not their balcony was damaged.

Channel 2’s Jim Strickland talked to some residents who said the insurance company should have paid for the $2 million in repairs instead of them.

Read more (video):
Condo owners in Midtown high rise file suit over balcony repair bills

South Carolina: Homeowner threatened with jail time over unpaid HOA fees sues for $1M, claims racial discrimination and selective enforcement

I posted an article about this long-running HOA dispute a few weeks ago, where an HOA sued a black homeowner for not removing his backyard shed, as required by court order. (See How breaking HOA rules might land you in jail)

When Julien refused to pay the Holly Tree Plantation HOA fines and attorney fees, he was threatened with a warrant for his arrest. So far, thankfully, that hasn’t happened.

But now, even though Julien removed the shed, the dispute has escalated into Melchior Julien’s lawsuit against his HOA, claiming racial discrimination. Julien claims his HOA has a habit of harassing him and selectively enforcing its rules against him, but not his neighbors.

Julien wants the court to order the HOA to leave him alone, and pay him $1 million for all the distress he says they have caused his family.

The HOA’s attorney is also a black man, and he denies racial discrimination against Julien.

Julien is represented by Attorney John Crawford.


Simpsonville homeowner seeks $1 million from HOA, dismissal of court case

A Simpsonville homeowner is asking for $1 million in damages from his homeowners association if its case against him is dismissed.

The request is part of a motion to dismiss and motion of discovery that Melchior Julien filed in the Greenville County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 13.

Julien has been in a two-year battle with the Holly Tree Plantation HOA over what it says are violations of the neighborhood’s covenants.

Last month, Circuit Court Judge Robin Stilwell ordered Julien to pay more than $3,600 in attorney fees by Feb. 1 or face a bench warrant for his arrest, according to court documents.

Julien has not paid the fees or been jailed. He said in an email last week that he filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the order. The motion states he is unemployed and unable to pay the $3,600.

His request was denied, according to a court order Monday.

Angelia Davis, The Greenville News Published 9:05 a.m. ET Feb. 15, 2019 | Updated 9:15 a.m. ET Feb. 15, 2019

Simpsonville homeowner seeks $1 million from HOA, dismissal of court case

South Carolina: When did a flag become a ‘sign?’

Sometimes HOAs take rule enforcement to new levels of absurdity. For example, take Palms 5th Avenue South HOA in North Myrtle Beach. According to a lawsuit filed by Vietnam veteran Robert Huey, the HOA has declared the American flag and flagpole an unallowed ‘sign.’

Apparently, as reported by WBTW News 13, the HOA doesn’t have any restrictions or rule against the American flag, but they do restrict the homeowners’ rights to display signs on their property.

Therefore, the HOA refuses to grant permission to Huey to put up his flagpole and fly the American flag.

But it gets even more absurd.

Huey’s attorney, John M. Leiter, states in the legal complaint that the HOA says it’s OK to mount a small flag, at an angle, on your home.

But a flagpole isn’t allowed because the HOA fears residents might start competing with one another over who has the biggest flag or flagpole. Or, even worse, the HOA warns that if it bends the rules, a resident might decide to put up a Confederate flag.

So now the HOA is in the business of regulating competitive behavior? And deciding which flags or “signs” are acceptable, and which ones are not?

Sounds like someone on the board has control issues.


Veteran sues HOA for denying request to fly American flag

The suit says the man has never had a problem installing the pole and flag at previous homes.

Author: WBTW News 13, CBS News
Published: 7:01 AM EST February 8, 2019
Updated: 7:12 AM EST February 8, 2019

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran is suing a homeowners association for denying his request to put a flag pole in his yard.

Robert Huey filed a lawsuit against the Palms 5th Avenue South HOA on Monday. The lawsuit states the HOA’s architectural review board denied his June request to install a less than 20-foot tall freestanding, white, fiberglass flagpole to fly an American flag.

According to the suit, the main reason given against the pole by the HOA is “the flag constitutes a sign and that signs are prohibited” by HOA rules, except in a few circumstances.

Read more (video):

Veteran sues HOA for denying request to fly American flag

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