The appellate court of the NJ Superior court rendered its opinion in the Moore v. Radburn[i] case dealing with a number of legalities with respect to the application, wording and interpretation and construction of NJ statutes and the Radburn Declaration. I will comment separately on the court’s opinion with respect to the application of democratic principles of government to this historic association.
In reading this opinion, I was struck by the depth and extent of arguments and legalities relating to the governance of this territory, a subdivision under equitable servitude covenants, contrasting and comparing the Constitution, federal and NJ, the laws of NJ applicable to public entities, and the NJ condo/HOA acts and the private agreement Declaration. The opinion is replete with references and citations to PREDFDA (Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act), N. J.S.A. (NJ statutes), and the Radburn Declaration of Restrictions, and the court’s reconciling conflicting or vague wording and intent.
What was happening was the application of the Radburn “constitution” and state laws that recognized and protected these independent, private governments not subject to the laws of NJ governing all civil government entities. In short, there was the acceptance and recognition of a second form of local political governance[ii], protected under special laws granting special immunities and privileges to the association. And these special laws are allowed to conflict with civil government laws and democratic principals, especially under the basic misconception that private agreements can supersede the Constitution when it comes to HOAs.[iii]
Issues like, “it reflects the homeowners’ view that many residents want equal membership, especially given that they are compelled to support the community“, and “The trial judge concluded that, absent any specific legislative authority, he could not impose a strictly democratic nominating procedure” recognized and accepted this second form of local political government contrary to the “supreme law of the land.”
America is no longer under the rule of law, but under the rule of man when private parties are allowed to bypass the contract between the people and the government as set forth in the US Constitution. The intent of that contract can be further found in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Civil Government, and more.
[i] Moore v. Radburn, A-4284-07T2, N.J. Super. App. Div, March 18, 2010 ( See http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/ page.htm?shortname=innjco20100318252).