Home rule doctrine vs. HOA governments

I find it disturbing that under our federal form of government — national government and state governments – the states have permitted home rule statutes, which stand in contradiction to our federalism under the Constitution. In essence, home rule statutes give local governments extraordinary powers to regulate and control the people within their territory. In my mind, it creates a condition of who’s in control and what entity governs certain events and conditions.

What is home rule? In simple terms, it is a grant of authority and power from the legislature to local communities. Only 10 states allow ‘pure’ home rule statutes that do not required legislative authority beyond granting home rule status. The prevalent version is guided by Dillon’s Rule: It states, “that local governments get their authority, and no other authority, from the legislature enacting general laws and not special laws, much like an executive branch agency.”  However, home rule allows for restricted freedoms: “Most states grant a portion of their governing power . . . to establish laws, levy taxes, and administer government on a local level . . . without obtaining legislative approval.””[1]

Given this existing legal mechanism for strong local control, why didn’t the HOA “bible”[2] use this legal doctrine and choose authoritarian private governments? Governments that are essentially outlaw governments since they exist outside the US Constitution. It would be meaningless to argue that outlaw governments are permitted by the Constitution,. Why then is there the need for the Constitution? (A controversary today at the national level).

Keep in mind, this acceptance of home rule doctrine offers a justification for the freedom and independence of HOA governments, except that home rule governments are created by grants of the state legislature and are subject to the constraints and restrictions – local rule only. State legislatures have created this shameful and irresponsible violation of the Constitution and must be made to fix it!

This argument must be advanced in no uncertain terms when seeking all and every HOA reform legislation – the legislature must return HOA governments to the Union of states known as the US of A. In doing so, the special laws for special entities, violating the equal protection of the law, and the mockery of due process (HOA hearings covenants) be replaced with a fair and just due process to protect the members of the HOA.

Let’s put an end to what rights have been denied the membership and what rights are enforceable. All Americans would be subject to the same laws unless the state can justify, which it hasn’t, the need for these constraints on the rights of HOA members.


[1] See   Anthony C. Nicholas, “A Discussion of Home Rule in Nevada, February 18, 2010 referenced in HOAs violate local home rule doctrine and are outlaw governments, George K. Staropoli, (2014).

[2] See in general,The Homes Association Handbook (1964): Guide for Creating HOAs (2007) and Analysis of The Homes Association Handbook (2006), George K. Staropoli.

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"The Voice for HOA Constitutionality". I have been a long-term homeowner rights authority, advocate and author of "The HOA-Land Nation Within America" (2019) and" Establishing the New America of independent HOA principalities" (2008). See HOA Constitutional Government at http://pvtgov.org. My efforts with HOAs took me to a broader concern that was deeply affecting the constituionality of HOAs. Those broad societal and plotical concerns caused me to start this new blog for my commentaries on the State of the New America.

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