Earlier I had reported on Arizona homeowner Bendt who dared speak out and criticize her HOA president and BOD using social media, emails, and pamphlets among other statements. See HOA limited-purpose public directors and officers and Limited purpose public HOA board; slander; AZ HB 2052. What courage and determination to fight against her HOA president and 2 board members who are attorneys.
With all respect and encouragement I have supported her fight to defend herself from accusations of defamation. In her appeal, which she lost, the HOA admitted that the president was a limited-purpose public figure with the acceptance that social media and that the HOA is a public forum; with protected free speech in regard to matters of members’ concern and HOA governance issues. Bendt protested an election and alleged improper and wrongful acts by the president. The result was a well calculated, in my view, personal defamation attack on Bendt to avoid the larger, broader aspects that protect members’ criticisms, with certain restraints.
Her defense has now moved on to the AZ Supreme Court, waiting for acceptance of her petition. Roughly less than 10% of supreme court petitions for review are accepted. Good luck to Bendt! If accepted, then her case is scheduled for oral arguments and a decision in a few months.
Stay tuned to this case of widespread importance to homeowner rights.
BTW, homeowner protections contained in AZ HB 2052 are lost as the bill died in Rules committee, which is controlled by the leaders of the majority party.
For the record, I am not a lawyer nor am I giving legal opinion or advice.
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