Arizona Curtails HOA Complaints with 400% Fee Increase

Quite unexpectedly, as of this morning, the Arizona Dept. of Building, Fire and Safety increased the non-refundable filing fee from $550 to $2,000, effective until April when it will once again be reviewed. This is outrageous, and an attempt to stifle homeowner justice as revealed by my case summaries. It reminds me of the 1950s Poll Tax in the South to prevent blacks from registering to vote.

Word is from BFS that, out of some 7,000 – 8,000 a year heard by OAH (Office of Administrative Hearings), the 22 cases to date in the first 5 months during which OAH could hear HOA disputes are overburdening the judges, who need to spend extraordinary amounts of time finding out how to make a decision on HOA disputes. So, these 22 cases require a 400% increase in order to provide justice to homeowners against HOAs, while all other civil complaints can be funded out the state coffers. This is outrageous! This is an attempt to coverup problems created by pro-HOA legislation and unconscionable adhesion contracts known as CC&Rs.

In 2004, when a bill was proposed to have JP courts decide the disputes, fears of outlandish costs that would overpower the JPs caused the bill to be defeated. Well, it turns out to be just some 50 cases for the year. I guess HOAs are just to much for our system of justice to handle, whether JP or OAH, and we should just let HOAs continue to be independent principalities operating outside the Constitution and state laws.

OAH adjudication has been working to bring justice to homeowners against abusive HOAs. OAH has had the additional benefit to expose the types of injustice, and attitudes of HOA boards and attorneys that are quite contrary to their pronouncements before the legislature and the media of a democratic community working to create vibrant, harmonious communities.

This filing fee increase should and must be paid for from state coffers to remove this scandalous bar to justice.

(Originally posted February 16, 2007).

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Published in: on March 2, 2007 at 8:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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