Texas & Arizona: the different meanings of ‘standing to sue’ an HOA

The question on appeal was a question of a legal standing to bring this suit against the defendants.  In general, the Texas appellate court in Webb clarified the legal status of “standing” (emphasis added),

 Standing deals with whether a litigant is the proper person to bring a lawsuit. . . . To establish standing, one must show a justiciable interest by alleging an actual or imminent threat of injury peculiar to one’s circumstances and not suffered by the public generally. . . . As stated by the United States Supreme Court, the question of standing is whether the party invoking jurisdiction has “a personal stake” in the outcome of the controversy.


Traditionally, courts have held that this “personal stake” must exist at the commencement of the litigation and continue throughout the lawsuit’s existence.


With respect to the Webb decision, the Court noted (emphasis added),  “Accordingly, unless Webb is an owner of a lot within Glenbrook Estates, she does not have standing to seek a declaration whether the Association waived enforcement of certain Covenants.”  Webb was not the recorded owner of the lot, only her husband’s name appeared on the deed, and Webb could not establish any fiduciary relationship or other representation for her husband.  Webb’s  case was dismissed due to a lack of standing to sue.

 See  Webb v. Voga, No. 05-09-00074-CV, Tex. App. Dist. 5, July 15, 2010.  (Glenbrook Owners Assn was a defendant).

NOW, TURNING OUR ATTENTION TO ARIZONA’S MOCKERY OF JUSTICE,  where the Office of Administrative Hearings adjudication of HOA disputes was declared unconstitutional  by the Maricopa County Superior Court (Meritt v. Phoenix Townhouse HOA, LC2008-000740, January 29, 2009), we find an unaddressed issue of standing to sue.  In short, after the decision and after a denial of this writer’s right to file a Motion to Intervene by Judge Murdock, an attempt was  made to bring the issue of a lack of standing to the attention of the court. The fact that the homeowner, who initiated the case, was no longer a member of the Phoenix Townhosue Assn.  On Feburary 23, 2009 I wrote Judge McMurdie, providing the evidence and saying,


Petitioner and real party in interest, Ron Merrit (sic), had quitclaimed his deed to his co-owned property in the Phoenix Townhouse subdivision on October 10, 2008, prior to the superior court special appeal of October 23. (Exhibit 1).  I believe this issue became moot at that point.

 I reminded the judge,

 If I had been permitted to intervene, these facts, discovered subsequent to filing the Motion to Intervene, would have been presented appropriately. Rule 60(c)(6) “does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from judgment, order . . . or to set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court.” 

 On March 2, 2009 Judge McMurdie responded with the following Minute Entry (emphasis added),

 The Court has received Intervener’s, George Staropoli, miscellaneous filings.

IT IS ORDERED striking these filings.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall not accept any filings from George Staropoli in this case.

  Apparently, the Arizona courts have a different take on this doctrine of standing to sue when it comes to HOAs.  The decision and harsh attitude of the Judge, and the absence of any government agency or official to defend the statute, allows a paraphrasing of Carl von Clausewitz’s, “War is the continuation of policy by other means” (On War):

  “The judicial system is the continuation of policy by another means!”

  Read the complete story of OAH constitutionality at

The State of Arizona will not protect buyers of HOA homes!

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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