Category Archives: Uncategorized

SOUTH CAROLINA – Myrtle Beach businessman arrested after stealing thousands from HOA, police say North Myrtle Beach businessman arrested after stealing thousands from HOA, police say

By Anna Young

June 14. 2019

A North Myrtle Beach businessman, already under fire for allegedly embezzling close to $100,000 from clients over the last year, found himself in jail last week after stealing thousands from a Homeowners Association for personal use, according to an arrest warrant.North Myrtle Beach police arrested Walter Pigg, 39, on June 7 and booked him at J. Reuben Long Detention Center that afternoon. He was released the next day on $10,000 bond. 

According to the warrant, Pigg failed to deposit funds from the Island Palms Homeowners Association into a nonprofit account, an account he was entrusted with managing and safekeeping, at BB&T Bank between September and December last year. Pigg instead withdrew more than $17,000 through an ATM and debit purchases, without HOA approval, to spend at The Big “M” Casino in Little River and Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina, the warrant states.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Condo Adopts Gag Rule To Block You Tube Videos

Condo Adopts Gag Rule To Block YouTube Videos
Article Courtesy of  The Key News
By Tony Winton 
Published June 12, 2019

 Residents of Key Biscayne’s largest condominium complex now face fines and other penalties if they videotape board meetings of their own association and then post them to YouTube, part of sweeping new rules adopted at the urging of Key Colony President Antonio Camejo. Other rules make it more difficult to request condominium records and impose strict time limits for owner participation.
  A condominium law expert and an owner’s rights activist questioned the video rule, saying publication bans in Florida do not appear to have ever been tested in court.

Condominiums have a “wide berth” to make reasonable rules, said Dana Goldman, a condominium law attorney and also a member of the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission. Goldman has been conducting a series of seminars in Miami-Dade County to educate condo residents about their rights, but sees Key Colony’s rule as breaking new ground.

“I think the rule is a little restrictive,” she said.

But, she said could not opine about how a court would rule. “It’s a clash of the policy interest of the board versus a First Amendment right to publish,” she said.

Jan Bergemann, who heads the property rights advocacy group Cyber Citizens For Justice, blasted the Key Colony rule. “These are dictatorial board members who don’t want the public to see the underhanded measures they are using,” he said. 

He predicted the rules would prove unenforceable.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Indigo Lakes residents are united in their effort to try to prevent the owner of their community golf course from building homes on the greens and fairways.

Indigo Lakes residents are united in their effort to try to prevent the owner of their community golf course from building homes on the greens and fairways. 
Article Courtesy of  The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Published June 3, 2019                 

  DAYTONA BEACH — More than 150 Indigo Lakes neighborhood residents jammed into a meeting room Wednesday night to talk about plans for their community’s idled golf course really only had one point of contention: How quickly they should hire an attorney.

There appeared to be a universal rejection of Indigo Lakes golf course owner Colin Jon’s proposal to build more than 530 new residential units on the greens and fairways and shrink the 18-hole golf course down to nine truncated holes.

The group of neighbors decided to get a petition drive moving, raise money for attorneys’ fees through a GoFundMe account, keep everyone informed on a neighborhood website and meet with a few lawyers before deciding who they might retain.

“If we unite, it’s amazing what we’ll accomplish,” said Tom Hollman, one of the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association presidents.

Within the next two months presidents of the seven homeowners’ associations within Indigo Lakes will decide when to kick off their fundraising drive, and soon neighborhood residents will try to come to an agreement on whether it’s best to hire an attorney as soon as possible or wait until Jon officially files plans with the city. There were passionate arguments on both sides at the nearly 90-minute meeting.

“We can’t force them to do anything,” one woman said. “We’ll probably have to reach some sort of compromise. I’d rather see him put it to a reasonable use than look like a bankrupt community, which is what it looks like now.”

“No plans have been filed with the city,” another woman shouted out. “You’re asking to raise hands to support an attorney when we don’t know what we’re fighting.”  Read more:


An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
Published June 1, 2019

On many different occasions we have discussed the fact that the US Constitution is not valid in community associations. Community associations are regulated by contract law, which means that our rights as citizens — normally protected by the Constitution – can be trampled upon by power-hungry board members who don’t want to hear any criticism, no matter how badly their actions affect the members of the community.Admittedly, our First Amendment Rights are nowadays often abused, because personal insults, name-calling and even slander shouldn’t be defended by the rights of “FREE SPEECH”, even if it seems to be accepted by today’s society.But if a community association board is passing a “CORPORATE RESOLUTION FOR COMMUNICATIONS” that more or less limits the ability of owners to communicate with the association staff they are paying for. If a board threatens to fine owners for even attempting to approach the board or staff members – even in a respectful manner – it’s in my opinion going much too far.   Read more:

FLORIDA – Florida drags feet for decades on fire safety for condos

CCFJ.NET: Florida drags feet for decades on fire safety for condos
Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
By Steve Bousquet
Published May 21, 2019

 Man discovered fire hundreds of thousands of years ago.

And for almost that long, or so it seems, politicians and taxpayers in Florida have been arguing about fire. It’s fire safety, to be specific, and whether high-rise condos should be required to be retrofitted with sprinkler systems in case of fire.

To fire safety experts, this is a matter of life and death. To condo unit owners, it’s a matter of money, and they vote.
Can you guess who’s winning?

Condo buildings taller than 75 feet must have sprinkler systems or, as an alternative, emergency life safety systems to meet a Jan. 1, 2020, deadline. Condo owners can vote to opt out of sprinklers by majority vote, but the deadline remains controversial and could be expensive.

Cost estimates of sprinklers vary wildly, from $1,500 to $20,000 per condo unit.

You could sit in a cave and rub two sticks together for 10 years and not come close to the amount of time the Legislature has spent dithering over this. The subject has been around for 19 years, since a statewide fire code first required sprinklers. The past three governors — three! — have vetoed the Legislature’s extension of deadlines.
When it comes to all talk and no action in the Legislature, no other issue comes close.

In 2006, Jeb Bush’s last year as governor, the Legislature voted to push back the sprinkler deadline to 2025. Bush vetoed what he called “an arbitrary postponement of an already distant time frame” and said the change “presents an unacceptable safety risk, especially to Florida’s many elderly condominium residents.”

In 2006, former Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed an extension of a deadline for high-rise condos to be retrofitted with fire safety sprinklers. Thirteen years later, the battle still rages.

Bush’s successor, Gov. Charlie Crist, vetoed another extension in 2010, and former Gov. Rick Scott kept the string going two years ago, when he vetoed an extension soon after a massive fire in a high-rise in London killed dozens of people.

“While I am particularly sensitive to regulations that increase the cost of living, the recent London high-rise fire, which tragically took at least 79 lives, illustrates the importance of life safety protections,” wrote Scott, who throughout his eight-year tenure was such a critic of state regulations that he abolished the growth management agency.  Read more:

FLORIDA – WFTV.COM: Oviedo mayor threatens to kill neighbors who threatened to call police on his daughter

By Jason Kelly, Jeff Levkulich

May 14, 2019

OVIEDO, Fla. – Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere threatened to kill his neighbors Monday evening after they told his 26-year-old daughter that they would call the police on her, an Oviedo Police Department incident report said.Police said they were called shortly before 8:45 p.m. to a subdivision near Alafaya Trail and East Chapman Road after Christopher Bain, 48, and Jennifer Bain, 46, said Persampiere, 55, threatened to shoot them.Jennifer Bain said Krysta Persampiere was walking near her home and appeared to be taking photographs, so she asked her to stop and Krysta Persampiere left, the report said.The report said Jennifer Bain thought Krysta Persampiere was taking photographs of her newly installed shed to report a homeowners association violation.
Krysta Persampiere said she was searching for her missing cat when she saw Christopher Bain and Jennifer Bain sitting in rocking chairs on their porch, the report said.The report said Krysta Persampiere said Christopher Bain shouted that he was going to call the police on her because she was taking photographs, but she said she was searching for her cat.Krysta Persampiere said she returned home and informed her father about the incident, the report said.
Police said they obtained cellphone video that showed Dominic Persampiere standing across the street, shouting at the Bains.”You ever talk to my kid like that again, and I’ll get my gun and go over there, and I’ll (expletive) kill you,” he said. “Take my picture. Here I am. Record this. She lost her damn cat. Go ahead. Put it on Facebook. You’re both (expletive) (expletive).”  Read more:

IDAHO – Judge throws out unanimous jury verdict in Christmas-light fight

WND: Judge throws out unanimous jury verdict in Christmas-light fight

Lawyer for family: ‘No good reason’ to reverse judgment against homeowners group
May 12, 2019

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to restore a jury’s unanimous verdict against a homeowners’ association in a dispute over Christmas lights.

First Liberty Institute filed the appeal on behalf of Jeremy and Kristy Morris, who are battling their HOA over their annual display of holiday lights at their home in Hayden, Idaho.A jury found the HOA targeted the Morrises with religious and other discrimination. It awarded them $60,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive damages.The jury found the HOA revealed a “preference that a non-religious individual” should purchase the home the Morrises bought.But last month, Idaho District Judge B. Lynn Winmill threw out the jury’s decision, ruling that the West Hayden States First Addition Homeowners Association did not discriminate.

Winmill instead blamed the couple for having Christmas displays in 2015 and 2016 that were too large.

First Liberty said it is asking the 9th Circuit to reinstate the jury’s verdict.  Read more:

MISSOURI – Battle between homeowner and HOA over truck could lead to foreclosure

KMOV.COM:  Battle between homeowner and HOA over truck could lead to foreclosure

By Chris Nagus

May 6, 2019 

 CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Andy Lipka loves classic cars. One of his latest obsessions is his 1965 Ford F250 pickup truck.It still runs well and in Lipka’s opinion, it’s pretty close to perfect.As he explained, “It reminds me of the truck I grew up in with my dad.”Not only does Lipka love the way it drives, he likes the paint job. As he describes, “It’s not damaged, it’s the way the finish has evolved over the years.”His homeowners association (HOA) hates it. So much so, they are suing him. The bylaws of the HOA in his Chesterfield neighborhood state vehicles with moderately severe body damage can’t be parked in the driveway. But Lipka says his classic truck does not have body damage.Lipka told News 4, “Its original Ford paint from 1965, it’s sought after now.”In the car world, it’s known as a patina finish and car experts say it’s a rising trend.Noah Alexander owns a classic car studio in St. Louis and is also the face of a nationwide show shot from his shop called ‘Speed is the New Black.’ Alexander says some clients specifically request the patina finish.He says, “I think it’s very popular now and becoming more popular.”But in Lipka’s case, beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the Woodfield Homes Association in Chesterfield.He parks his truck in his driveway because his garage houses two other vehicles. He’s been assessed nearly $3,000 in penalties and fines, and is facing a very serious threat.Lipka says the lawsuit, “Also implicates my house. They want to foreclose on my house.”If the fines aren’t paid, the HOA will seek foreclosure. Lipka has filed a countersuit.He understands the benefits of an HOA and rules that prohibit parking cars with flat tires or ones that are inoperable outside, but he feels this has gone too far.Missouri State Representative Bryan Spencer represents rapidly growing Wentzville where new neighborhoods and new HOAs are sprouting up. Spencer says he goes to “60 to 80 HOA meetings a year, they are my number one district concern.”He says he’s tried to introduce legislation that would curb HOA power in Missouri but the plan fell apart in Jefferson City.  Read more:

IDAHO – Religious law firm files appeal after judge overrules verdict on Hayden Christmas display – Religious law firm files appeal after judge overrules verdict on Hayden Christmas display

May 6, 2019A religious law firm is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Hayden family after a judge overruled a jury verdict finding a Homeowner’s Association discriminated against them based on religion in regards to a Christmas light display.First Liberty Institute is asking the Ninth Circuit to reinstate the jury’s verdict.“The jury found that the Homeowners’ Association discriminated against the Morris family by repeatedly attempting to shut down the family’s Christmas display and childrens’ charity fundraiser,” Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty Institute said. “The jury in this case recognized clear religious hostility by the HOA—there was no good reason for a judge to overrule them.”Jeremy Morris had been battling his HOA for years over the light display, suing them in 2015 claiming religious discrimination and to have his property de-annexed from the West Hayden Homeowner’s Association and at least $250,000 in damages.Jeremy and Kristy Morris hosted a Christmas display at their home in Hayden, asking visitors for donations to charities to assist children who were victims of cancer, abuse or neglect. In 2014, when planning to move, the Morris’ let the HOA know about the display.In response, the HOA wrote, “I am somewhat hesitant in bringing up the fact that some of our residents are non-Christians or of another faith and I don’t even want to think of the problems that could bring up” and “we do not wish to . . . fill our neighborhood with the hundreds of people and possible undesirables.”  Read


9th Circuit Holds Nevada Superior Lien Statute Is Constitutional and Not Preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program

JDSUPRA.COM:  9th Circuit Holds Nevada Superior Lien Statute Is Constitutional and Not Preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program

Written by: Weiner Brodsky Kider PC

May 1, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that Nevada’s homeowner’s association (HOA) super lien statute is constitutional, overruling its previous decision given new Nevada Supreme Court precedent rejecting the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of the statute.  Further, the Ninth Circuit held that this statue was not preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program.

The Nevada statute provides a homeowners association a lien with superpriority status on property governed by the association for the last nine months of unpaid HOA dues and any unpaid maintenance and nuisance-abatement charges.  With a few exceptions, the superpriorty portion of the lien is superior to all other liens on the property, including the first deed of trust held by the mortgage lender.

In this case, the relevant home was in a neighborhood governed by the defendant HOA.  The original owners of the home purchased the property using a mortgage insured by FHA.  The deed of trust securing the loan was later assigned to the plaintiff, a national bank.  The owners fell behind on their monthly HOA dues and the HOA initiated foreclosure proceedings and recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien and a notice of default and election to sell.  The bank received the notice of default and asked the HOA to identify the superpriorty portion of the lien so that it could pay the amount and protect its lien fist deed of trust.  The HOA provided the bank with a ledger showing the total amount due to the HOA, but this ledger did not specify the superpriority amount.  After reviewing the ledger, the bank determined the superpriority amount and tendered it to the HOA.  However, the HOA rejected the payment as insufficient and went forward with the foreclosure sale.  The bank sued the HOA asserting claims, among others, for quiet title and declaratory judgment and wrongful foreclosure.  Read more: