HOA Sues Marine's Family for Banner in Support of Son

homeowner association Another homeowners association is about to be pilloried for its less-than-delicate treatment of military families. Jodi and Timothy Burr of Bossier City, La., are being sued by their HOA for refusing to remove a front yard banner supporting their son in the Marines, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, the Huffington Post reports.

Despite the sensitive circumstances of the dispute, the Gardens of Southgate property owners group stuck to its guns, citing a covenant rule that prohibits all signs from public display on HOA properties, says the Huffington Post. The family, though, is arguing that the group's enforcement of the rules has been "selective" at best.

This is not the first time an HOA has gotten into hot water over questionably strict enforcement of covenant rules. In the past few months, AOL Real Estate has reported on two separate incidents in which a homeowners association denied a veteran the right to fly the American flag in his yard, and another in which a disabled veteran's all-expenses-paid home was tabled by the HOA, because they claimed the plans might hurt property values.

As more conflicts arise between homeowners and homeowners associations, it's important for first-time buyers to understand what joining an HOA entails. While there are certainly value-add services that the associations provide (from property upkeep, maintenance and neighborhood decorum), some buyers might find the regulations too restrictive -- or, as seen in this case and others, far too subjective. In some states, HOAs are also granted the power to sell your home if you do not stay current on your homeowners association fees -- even if you own the home clear and free.


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Reginald Valentine

The entry for the word "Wrong" in all dictionaries from this day forward should reference this HOA.

August 01 2011 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lorraine

WOW! This HOA totally sucks! The owners are paying HOA fees, their son is at war, but they can't show a sign of respect for their son? You've made me very happy that I live in my own HOA, where we would have fought for this right!!!

August 01 2011 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dink

Is there a decent lawyer out there that can help this family.They can find loopholes for anything,there has to be one in the contract or better yet why doesn't the Justice Department step in,when has it been considered illegal
to honor our military personnel.I suggest that the veterans and their families organize and picket HOA,and what
about their neighbors why are they not supporting this family.It leaves one to wonder Who is behind these HOA
and what kind of neighbors does this family have.IT'S DISGRACEFUL THAT MEN AND WOMEN WHO FIGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY,FOR THE FREEDOM THESE HOA ENJOY,CAN NOT BE HONORED.THEY NEED TO
BE INVESTIGATED BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT,I'M SURE THEY WILL FIND SEVERAL VIOLATIONS AND
OUTRIGHT CRIMES;

July 30 2011 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dink's comment
blue73mgb

The banner is against the rules of the HOA. PERIOD...doesn't matter what it says...

August 02 2011 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kupahea

congress should pass a law that certain things concerning military/military families cannot be ruled over, e.g., flying of flag or any other sign (size testricted to...) representative of a military member in a war zone authorized by congress. i vote the burr family have an explicit right to wave a flag or sign indicating a family member is in a combat zone---proud to be an american.

July 30 2011 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kupahea's comment
blue73mgb

if they don't like the rules...they should move

August 02 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rouwster

HOA's do little good except stoke the ego's of those in charge.
http://propertymortgageinvestment.com/tag/real-estate

July 29 2011 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
christine

I would NEVER live in a HOA. I would NEVER allow someone to tell me ( other than my County ) what I can and cannot do, with my land and my home!

July 28 2011 at 9:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
christine

If it would not be for soldiers like this marine and and all our armed forces past and present they would not have the freedom to dictate what this marines family is doing... But for our armed forces we would not have the freedom to dictate and feel proud of ourselves for suing this family for trying to honor thier son !! MAKE IT BIGGER!! and counter sue for depriving them of thier liberties or discrimination against the armed forces!!

July 28 2011 at 9:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
man44seasons

CC&R's are supposed to be a guide line and nothing more. For goodness sakes, this has gotten simply out of hand. I wonder if the CC&R's are being admisistered by a Management Company, out to prove thier worth to the neighborhood association?

I say leave the Banner up, and in fact make it bigger. Get a Heart people!!!

July 28 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to man44seasons's comment
Jake60

Unfortunately, CC&Rs (covenants) are not at all mere guidelines. They are covenants running wtih the land, which are enforcesable by law. That is more than a "guideline". The problem is that developers who create these don't care what happens once they turn over the development. Covenants are usually overbroad and very often are selectively enforced. However, these are private corporations. Therefore, while associations have more power over most people's daily lives than most governments, they are not subject to the constraints of *real* governments. E.g., associations are not subjet to the constitution - the only "due process", for example, that homeowners have any "right: to is that which is granted by statute.
It is a problem. A serious problem.

July 28 2011 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
npatriotmissive

HOAs are not a Jane Fonda or communistic issue. They are "privatized CORPORATE governments" and they will tell you any lie to get you to move in, and when they have you, they will bleed you dry, financially and mentally, much like a giant spider. The HOA industry is a predator without limitations... ask the biggest spider of all, Senator Carona of Dallas (See Associa)
HOAs pit neighbor against neighbor as they get by with unimaginable theft and corruption.

July 28 2011 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
kabob206

Despite the sensitive circumstances of the dispute, the Gardens of Southgate property owners group stuck to its guns, citing a covenant rule that prohibits all signs from public display on HOA properties, says the Huffington Post. The family, though, is arguing that the group's enforcement of the rules has been "selective" at best
THIS IS COVERED IN OUR sb204 WHERE IT STATES THAT BOARDS CAN ENFORCE OR FOREGO ENFORCEMENT IF THEY DEEM THAT THE INFRACTION IS NOT OF INTEREST TO THE COMMUNITY/BOARD... THIS MEANS THAT SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT IS JUST FINE HERE IN NEVAD AS OF JAN 1, 2012
This was specifically addressed in the workshop on 7-21-11
Enjoy!!!!

July 28 2011 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply