AZ CAI attorney maintains that “the law cannot fix” abusive board problems

CAI lobbyist and LAC co-chair in Arizona, Scott Carpenter, made it quite clear in his 2011 Legislative Preview blog post, Jan. 11, 2011, that:  Community associations function worst when the elected directors act out of self-interest, play favorites, and work for their own political purposes” (see, there are indeed serious  problems in HOA-Lands).  And then declares, “The law cannot fix this problem directly any better than the law is capable of fixing conflict in families or marriages.”  Let me repeat that:  “The law cannot fix this problem directly any better than the law is capable of fixing conflict in families or marriages.”  Has he ever read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence?
Sarah Palin, in her video on the Arizona shooting this past Saturday, made reference to the Founding Fathers understanding of man’s  imperfect nature.  She quoted James Madison (Federalist Papers #10), “If men were angels there would be no need for government.”  (See Constitutional Local Government website,  It was that awareness by the Founding Fathers that led to the adoption of checks and balances and of a separation of powers.  But when there is no accountability, no check on private HOA governments by state government, one can only assume that those who become directors are blessed with perfection in all that they do.  And that the wise and learned legislators have the exceptional ability to see these angelic persons, and find it only fair and just to leave HOA matters to the HOA board.  Perhaps this is the real reason for the hands-off policy of the legislature.
It should be noted, however,  that Carpenter, in an about face,  fails to mention his Dec. 17, 2010 letter to the CAI lobbyist, DeMenna, that it’s a good idea for  a law that gives a minority of members the power to alter your CC&R contract at the time of purchase – 2/3 of 50% quorum =  33.5% of all the members. HOAs are contractual and are not public governments.  If Carpenter wants the HOA to function like a public government with its election laws, his justification for this proposed change in law, then he should argue for the modification the CC&Rs contract by member vote and not by legislative fiat.  Apparently legislative interference is a swinging door, depending on which side of the fence Carpenter is on.  He now seeks legislative interference that he otherwise rejects.  (While Carpenter takes pains to inform the reader that he speaks for himself, not CAI and not for the firm, the letter is signed by Carpenter “for Carpenter, Hazlewood, Delgado & Wood, PLC.”  Nor does he mention the fact that he remains co-chair for Arizona Central CAI chapter as he writes.) 
Carpenter closes with a strong statement that control of the HOA belongs with the members and directors, in contradiction of his above proposed changes by legislative fiat.  What is quite clear is:  Carpenter is opposed to the democratic functioning by the people, the members alone, within the HOA subdivision, with no recourse to state oversight of its operations to protect you, the homeowner. He  is strongly opposed to accountability to the civil government by private governments functioning under  an authoritarian form of government.  In fact, his law firm, Jason E. Smith the attorney of record,  has trice opposed the delegation of  authority by the legislature to a state agency (DFBLS/HOA) to hear HOA disputes. (See, in general,  He appears to want HOAs to be treated as independent principalities.
Carpenter has made his position quite clear. He is opposed, like CAI Central, to constitutional protections for homeowners.  He seems to be arguing that HOAs are a special class of utopian government that require no oversight by the state.  And sadly, like many other political statements on the national level, there are those true believers who see no wrong because it would not sit well with their own personal agendas. Or, they are declaring their preference for dogmatic principles, like a misguided support for “individual rights,” which they interpret to mean, “we can do anything the majority wants with no constitutional constraints.”
This secession from constitutional government must stop!
Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm  Comments (4)  
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  1. […] may want to read more here  –> HOA foreclosures:  will the real CAI stand up and –> This Article, by that same author.  Or here –> Cyber Citizens for Justice and from that same […]

  2. CAI just announced that Carpenter is on the national board of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, a clear indication of CAI Central’s approval of Carpenter’s positions and actions.

    “The following CCAL members have been elected to two-year terms on the 2011 CCAL board:

    Scott Brian Carpenter, Esq., Carpenter Hazlewood, PLC , Tempe, AZ.”

  3. See Arizona bill, HB 2441, a bill to allow a minority to change a homeowner’s CC&RS “contract” without his consent.

  4. The continuing transparent hypocrisy of the “association bar” will be demonstrated once again when the Community Associations Institute’s Central Arizona Chapter’s lobbyist asks the 50th Legisilature to legislatively do that which they were unable to do judicially, Waugaman v. Troon Village Association (Carpenter Hazlewood Delgado & Wood, PLC), unilaterally amend all association members’ “private contracts” (notwithstanding the contract’s threshold [90%, 80%, 75% or 67%] to amend its “bad documents’”) pursuant to the association bar’s proposed legislation, “one-size-fits-all,” largely lamented and opposed for years by past and present chairs of CAI’s Arizona’s Legislative Action Committee and CAI’s vested interest “stakeholders.”

    CAI Central Arizona Chapter 2010, Committee Chairs: Legislative Action Committee

    Scott Carpenter, Esq., CCAL (Co-Chair)
    Carpenter Hazlewood Delgado & Wood, PLC

    Brian W. Morgan, Esq. (Co- Chair)

    DC Lot Owners Association vs. Maxwell &
    Morgan, P.C., Charles E. Maxwell and Lisa
    Maxwell, CV2010-04684: Breach of Ethical
    Duties; Disgorgement; Aiding and Abetting;
    Professional Negligence; Breach of Contract;
    Breach of Fiduciary Duty

    Consider the propensity of those that willfully ignore the statutes, regulations, rules and codes of federal, state, county and municipal agencies, as well as their own governing documents (“private contracts”), knowing the truth respecting their activities and conduct but purposefully withholding it from their members and from those which they seek special dispensation from, Arizona’s Fiftieth Legislature, First Regular Session.

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