Notable HOA lawsuits (Dec. 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

This month: a class action lawsuit against developer/home builder; condo association sued by injured vacation guest; HOA’s ‘no parking’ sign controversy continues; two Texas condo associations accused of mistreating residents.


Class action lawsuit claims builder/developer and POA ruined their property values

Earlier this month, Attorney Charles Matthews filed a class action lawsuit, on behalf of homeowners, against a Colorado developer in Garland County Circuit Court.

Property owners say that recent clear cutting and logging activity by Omni Home Builders at Diamondhead Resort Community LLC’s has spoiled many of the vacant lots it purchased from Diamondhead Resort Community Inc. in July 2018.

The builder acquired 1,600 vacant lots in the gated Hot Springs community for $2.4 million.

The lawsuit also names Diamondhead Property Owner’s Association as a defendant, for not enforcing its nuisance restrictions and for not requiring the developer to obtain a permit for logging.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Omni Home stopped clear cutting, and Diamondhead POA stated that it will require the developer to obtain permits for future construction work.

Unfortunately, considerable damage has already been done. Homeowners say that extensive logging and tree removal has reduced their property values. In their minds, the homeowners association did exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do.


Diamondhead residents sue Colorado developer
by David Showers | December 15, 2019 at 3:00 a.m.



Family of teen girl paralyzed after falling out of 6th floor window sues condo association, management

Two years ago, while on vacation at the Kauhale Makai condo in Kihei,  a 13-year old girl fell from a 6th floor window. Due to her injuries from the fall, the girl is now paralyzed. Her family is now suing the condo association, its management company and vacation rental company.

According to a Hawaii News Now report, the girl had stepped on a bed near an open window, and, when the bed tipped over, she fell out through the screen.

The condo association remains tight-lipped about the incident. HNN reports that this is not the first time a Maui condo guest has fallen from a window.


Family of girl left paralyzed after falling from condo files suit
By HNN Staff | December 18, 2019 at 4:44 PM HST – Updated December 18 at 5:04 PM
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow)



Another party joins county’s lawsuit over ‘no parking’ signs on public right-of-way

A September post on IAC highlighted Blaine County’s lawsuit against Flying Heart Ranch HOA, near Hailey.

The County sued, after the HOA refused to remove ‘no parking’ signs at a public right-of-way access point along the Big Wood River. Flying Heart Ranch leaders insist the area is private property of the HOA.

Now a tour guide business, Silver Creek Outfitters has also joined Blaine County in its lawsuit against the HOA. An attorney for Silver Creek says that a court ruling in favor of HOA parking restrictions would adversely affect its business.

Blaine County vows to protect the public’s right to access Big Wood River. Their lawsuit asks for a court order to for the HOA to remove ‘no parking’ signs, plus civil penalties and reimbursement for its legal costs.

The HOA shows no signs of softening its stance or removing the signs.


Outfitter files to join county against Flying Heart
Silver Creek has ‘unique’ interest in access, lawyer says
Mark Dee | Idaho Mountain Express | Dec 6, 2019



Condo association accused of stealing residents baby grand piano

Robert Marcus is a former owner and current tenant of Preston Tower Condominium on Northwest Highway. Last month he sued the condo association, its management company, Intercity Investments, Inc. (ICI), WD Piano Movers Inc., and American Eagle Elevator LLC.

The lawsuit follows the condo association’s decision to remove Marcus very valuable baby grand piano – Steinway Model D Concert Grand – from the building to an undisclosed storage facility for the last year.

Marcus, who had owned a condo for 30 years, sold his unit and moved one floor down to a rental unit. He wanted to move his piano to his new home, but had difficulty finding a mover willing to take the job. In the meantime, the new owners moved into his new unit, so Marcus moved his piano into the hallway, temporarily.

Although the condo association was aware of Marcus’ attempts to find a piano mover, after just two weeks, the HOA chose to hire WD Piano Movers to remove the piano from Preston Tower, claiming it was against local code and condo rules to store the piano in the common hallway.

Apparently, the condo board stopped communicating directly with Marcus once he became a tenant instead of a unit owner. Incredibly, the HOA claims the piano now belongs to them.

The baby grand is still reportedly locked up in storage, pending the outcome of litigation.

In his lawsuit, Marcus seeks between $200,000 and $1,000,000 in damages for his ‘stolen property,’ as well as loss in profits that he could have earned providing music lessons.


North Dallas condo building gets sued for snatching resident’s grand piano
By Jon Anderson | Culture Map Dallas
Nov 27, 2019, 12:29 pm


Woman accuses security guard of causing false arrest

The owner of two condos at Willowick, Harris County, is suing her condo association and its 76-year-old security guard, Michael Bankston.

Baroness Kandy Kaye Horn is represented by Attorney Randall Kallinen. The legal complaint alleges that Bankston, under the employ of Willowick Condominium Association, caused Horn to be arrested on false pretenses in May and June of 2019.

Following her second arrest, Horn was detained in jail for three days.

Bankston alleges that, on both occasions, Horn was a danger to herself and others. Horn denies those allegations.

Fearing a repeat of emotional trauma due to another false arrest, Horn has moved out of Willowick to a local hotel.

The lawsuit alleges Horn is a victim of “constructive eviction.” That’s a legal term to describe a situation when living conditions are so difficult that the resident can no longer remain in her home.

The complaint accuses Willowick Condominium Association of negligence in employing Bankston, and its failure to supervise the security guard.

Horn asks the court to order the condo association to purchase both of her units, reimburse her relocation costs, and pay punitive damages for mental anguish.


Condo owner alleges security guard’s call to police resulted false arrest, imprisonment
By Marian Johns | SE Texas Record | Dec 17, 2019 ♦

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