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HOA issues fine over alleged obscene snow outline

Many homeowners in California who live in homeowners associations are likely aware of the potential for property-related disputes. In some cases, alleged HOA agreement violations are valid. However, other disagreements are questionable, to say the very least. The latter is what allegedly happened to a woman in Tennessee.

This particular homeowner dispute started with a light snowfall. The woman was fined $100 after her HOA discovered what it considered an obscene outline in the snow that remained when her car was moved. According to the HOA, the offensive imprint in the snow resembled the male genitalia, which they said was a violation of a rule against displaying offensive images or slogans. In the letter sent to the woman, the HOA claimed to have a photograph showing the suggestive imprint. The homeowner found the alleged HOA violation laughable and refused to pay the fine.

After exchanging emails, the HOA sent the homeowner the photo of the imprint that had been left in the snow where the woman's vehicle had been located. The HOA eventually opted to drop the matter as the woman and her husband continued to refuse to pay the fine. The couple had prior run-ins with the HOA over alleged disability discrimination unrelated to this matter.

Initially, the protocol when disputes with homeowners associations arise is for a homeowner to attempt to resolve the issue directly with the HOA. While that's exactly what happened with this case, there are times when an attorney might get involved. For instance, legal intervention may be necessary if the HOA threatens legal action of their own against a homeowner. A lawyer may question the validity of the alleged violation or attempt to seek a mutually acceptable resolution.

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