Sometimes we want to pass on information that has nothing to do with community associations in particular, but which might be of interest to our readership in general. This is one of those times. This article was published in Life at Ken-Caryl, a bi-weekly publication of our friends at the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association,
Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne is proud to announce that partner Mark K. Payne will be co-chairing and speaking at CLE International’s Community Association Law Seminar at the Grand Hyatt in Denver on June 11, 2007.
Mark will provide an in-depth analysis of the Fair Housing Act and its application to community associations. In an …
Below is a trial story from Larry Leff, senior partner here at WLPP:
Not Your Ordinary Collection Case
In the not too distant past our firm took on a collection case for one of our associations that took an interesting twist. We filed a lawsuit in our county court, jurisdiction under $15,000.00, against a homeowner for the non-payment of assessments. The debtor homeowner filed a counterclaim against the Association, asserting claims that the association breached its contract with him – failing to maintain the property – and that it breached its fiduciary duty to him, among other claims. He also requested exemplary damages. During the course of litigation, the homeowner brought his account current, minus the attorney fees and costs. At trial, the Association was granted an award for its attorney fees and costs, and the court dismissed all the homeowner’s counterclaims.
The homeowner refused to satisfy the judgment, so garnishment proceedings were initiated. The garnishment was successful and the Association collected the full amount.
Subsequent to the satisfaction, the homeowner decided he wanted to do landscaping work to enhance his property. He put up a retaining wall of concrete, railroad ties, gravel and…
Continue Reading Not Your Ordinary Collections Case
The first day of Spring and the recent sunshine and warm temperatures may have prompted you to start thinking about your Association’s Summer event calendar. If your Association’s list of events includes outdoor movie nights, concerts, or other performances, the Association may need to pay licensing fees. United States copyright laws protect composers, lyricists, music publishers, and movie producers and distributors, among others. Community associations that play music in recreational facilities, at festivals or at other events likely need to obtain the appropriate licenses to use the music. With few exceptions, showing movies also requires licensing.
County Court, where most collection cases are heard, tends to judge a case more by equity rather than the letter of the law. Each County Court Judge or Magistrate has their own interpretation of what is fair and reasonable. Thus, we must proceed with caution when going to trial, even if we know the law is on our side. Our first trial story took place last summer and illustrates this point.
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) held its annual Law Seminar this year from February 22-24 in New Orleans. All the attorneys from our office were able to attend and discuss current trends in HOA law with colleagues from around the country. Topics this year included "Cyber Issues and Electronic Voting", "7 Deadly Fair Housing Sins of Community Associations", and "The Latest Trends in Rental Restrictions". Much was learned and a good time was had by all.
This past Sunday’s edition of the Denver Post featured an article on the delay homeowners associations are experiencing with the removal of holiday lights and decorations by owners. The article states that due to the unusually harsh winter, associations are relaxing their normal enforcement of restrictive covenants that require decorations to be removed within 30…