send a wake up call to the US Supreme Court on HOA defects

I just read the 23 page US Supreme Court amicus brief[i] for The Cato Institute in Mariner’s Cove v. the United States, No. 12-1453, written by an illustrious group of legal-academic aristocrats. Let me make it quite clear at the start that I am not part of that group, or even an attorney, so I don’t have a built in “good ol’ boy” bias.

Selective citations and quotes were made from a number of cases, journals, and books including those of Evan McKenzie, Paula A. Franzese, and Steven Siegel.  (They wrote a critique of the NJ Supreme Court Twin Rivers decision, and other works, but you wouldn’t know that from the quotes).  Also quoted was Susan French who made that comment, not quoted in the brief,  in the Forward of The Restatement (3rd) of Property: Servitudes that, “Therefore this Restatement is enabling toward private government.”

My activist take on the brief can be summarized quit simply as:

1.         HOAs are growing faster than the rabbit population.

“The number of citizens opting to live in community associations—and the extent of commerce affected by such arrangements—is sure to keep growing, as the majority of new housing built in the past three decades is subject to association arrangements.”

 2.         The people love HOAs. “More and more citizens choose to enter into these property-rights-sharing arrangements because they provide substantial benefits.”

 3.         HOAs and local municipalities have a beneficial symbiotic relationship for the betterment of the community. 

 Community associations provide a variety of private and public benefits, including increased property values, greater efficiency in the delivery of services, and lower costs to the public.

 “Community associations offer such benefits to local governments that developers are increasingly required [sic] to structure proposed housing developments as community associations as a condition of approval.”

 4.         That it’s only fair for taxpayers to pay the HOA for the loss of income. 

By shifting a greater burden for paying for such services to the remaining members of the association without compensation, the Government’s taking here presents a textbook case of “forcing some people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.

“The constitutional requirement of just compensation derives as much content from the basic equitable principles of fairness, as it does from technical concepts of property law.”


Now, from these quotes as a good sampling, the 9 Men in Black cannot help but think that HOAs are the next best thing to heaven on earth. They would have no clue whatsoever that there is “trouble in River City.”  I would venture that they have no knowledge of the happenings and goings-on in HOA-Land, and would have to rely on the self-serving Cato amicus brief.

What is needed is a response showing the other side of HOA-Land that can be obtained from some of the same authors used by Cato, McKenzie, Franzese, Siegel and others. Court cases can be cited like the horrendous Poris decision by the Illinois Supreme Court, and the Wittenberg decision by the California appellate court, to name a few.  Or how about asking the Justices to think about, and asked to explain, The Truth in HOAs Disclosure[ii] as a starting point.

We have an opportunity to be heard by the US Supreme Court!

WHAT IS IMMEDIATELY REQUIRED IS TO INFORM THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES of loss of rights, privileges and immunities of citizens under a despicable argument of a bona fide and legitimate consent to be governed.  I am not a lawyer.  I cannot file an amicus brief!

This is a very good time to act and be heard!





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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “The law of associations” was written by real estate people and urban land planners, not by political scientists or constitutional lawyers. It bastardizes the supreme law of the land, in favor of a New America of HOA-Land. As a national real estate lawyer wrote in the Restatement of Property, this work is enabling toward private governments, and if there’s a conflict real estate law should prevail over constitutional law. See

    The law of association(s)

  2. A movement that suggest that HOA’s are becoming more popular is far from the truth…

    FACT – 99 out of 100 people can’t stand HOA’s and their boards of directors… WHO ARE NOTHING MORE THAN “wana be politicians”

    we are faced with and forced to live by what stupid lobbyist bring to our politician along with their “political contributions” who do nothing more than plead for the rights of the wealthy and they are too stupid to realize that they are also affecting their own future that will trickle down to their own family members for generations to come…

    Money and corruption is the key word here… “power” is just a word to substitute the word and works of Corruption. We know it and they know it, its the simple hard core truth!!!

    Bottom line take away the money factor and none of them would give two shakes about what your neighborhood looks like or how you live…

    We must work on the corruption, because that is where the deepest root of the problem “lies”… [emphasis added]

  3. 3 women in black, and i thought cato was more libertarian; most of us do not want our homes to be ruled by anyone other than ourselves; and if i hear the “property values” excuse one more time, i’m gonna throw up!

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