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Man battling HOA blames harassment on racial discrimination

Homeowners' associations govern communities throughout California, and their covenants and rules sometimes inspire legal battles. A man living in one in another state has been battling his HOA for two years. His latest motion filed with his local court demands dismissal of the HOA's case. He also wants $1 million in damages for racial discrimination and family stress.

A disagreement about a shed first brought the man to court. He believed that the neighborhood's covenants allowed him to have a shed while he was building an addition to his house. The HOA countered that only sheds in existence prior to the regulations about sheds were acceptable. To comply with the rules, other homeowners had needed to remove their sheds. The court ruled in favor of the HOA and told the man to comply and pay $2,500 in legal expenses for the HOA.

He never removed his shed, which caused the court to slap him with a $3,600 sanction. After it went unpaid, a judge threatened to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. The attorney for the HOA, who happens to be the same race as the homeowner, said that racial prejudice was not the source of their ongoing issues.

An HOA dispute can be very vexing for people because they feel attacked in their own homes. A consultation with a lawyer could provide insights about HOA covenants. A lawyer could promote a person's position during communications with an HOA and perhaps broker a resolution. Sometimes a case might need to advance to the courtroom, where a lawyer could present evidence that supports the person's legal rights.

Source: Greenville News, "Simpsonville homeowner seeks $1 million from HOA, dismissal of court case", Angelia Davis, Feb. 15, 2019

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