In California there is the report of a midnight raid on HOA members to forcibly evict them. The Courthouse News Series reports (The Foreclosure From Hell) that
“Nine condo residents claim Taser-toting private security guards burst into their homes at 3 a.m. and assaulted them, forcing them into the street in their underwear, in a foreclosure the residents had never been informed of.”
The security organization for the HOA and the HOA are being sued. The complaint alleges, among other things, that
“During this approximate two-hour ordeal, the armed men threatened arrest and incarceration, menaced the plaintiffs with weapons, engaged in intimidation, positioning themselves immediately in front of and/or behind the plaintiffs, glaring at them menacingly and invading the plaintiffs’ space.”
The plaintiffs seek damages for trespass, extortion, assault and battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In the highly public Travon murder case in Florida questions of HOA negligence are being raised. In Arizona, for the 5th year, a bill that re-asserts that public streets within HOA subdivision territories are regulated by the local government and not the HOA was again defeated. In Illinois, however, the court did put a stop to HOA security people stopping and detaining people on the roads.
The question before us is: what are the factors, the causes that lead HOA boards to act in such an uppity, defiant manner against their members and the public, as if they were indeed independent principalities? The simple answer is, because they can! Is it the culture within the HOA that is too similar to the experimental conditions of the Milgram and Stanford Prison experiments? (See Why do people harm others in HOAs?)
Is it the public policy that the HOA must survive at the expense of individual rights and freedoms, with members’ losing the privileges and immunities guaranteed to all citizens? Is it the pro-HOA laws that do not hold the HOA accountable to the state, that presumes that the HOA can do no wrong? There are no penalties against HOA law-breakers, but there are plenty of state supported penalties that make HOA attorneys rich and force hardship and the loss of one’s home for trivial fines.
With this sentiment, this bias in our culture and society, HOAs have no restraint on running amuck, and on intentionally running amuck as witnessed here with the Gestapo raid. I wrote about this dangerous slippery slope path in The public policy of the states with respect to HOAs. In Legislative protection of HOAs: replacing US organic law with HOA organic law I wrote about the disappearance of the social contract and a return to a state of nature, to anarchy.
It is not too difficult to realize that this country has been on a regressive, slippery slope path to a governmental system very much like the rejected Articles of Confederation of some 225 years . . . . And it appears, with the rhetoric abounding here and elsewhere on other constitutional issues, we are rejecting the social contract and returning to a state of nature.
Yes, each day, little by little, more and more such acts that were once unthinkable occur as this country speed us along the slippery slope to disaster. I’m waiting for the knock on the door. I have my papers ready.