In 2018, California Civil Code §4515 was a major step in restoring fundamental protections for free speech by members with respect to HOA governing issues.
“(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that members and residents of common interest developments have the ability to exercise their rights under law to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with one another and with others with respect to common interest development living or for social, political, or educational purposes.”
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
Now, AB 1410 seeks to restrict these rights under the guise, it seems, that the HOA website is private and therefore it can adopt restrictive rules legally. In a typical “what you see is not what you get” maneuver, the bill would grant the HOA the power to moderate message content in strict opposition to legal holdings — that content based free speech is protected and any editing must be unbiased.
The bill sections start with §4515,
“(b) The governing documents, including bylaws and operating line 4 rules, shall not prohibit a member or resident of a common interest line 5 development from doing any of the following:”
But watch out, what is granted is now removed under (b)(6) subparagraphs (B) and (C), and especially (D). In a “flip-flop,” designed in my view to confuse the average homeowner, it then informs the homeowner that he is still protected because the HOA must follow the rules it is attempting to circumvent. (pp. 93-94).
What’s the point? To make it difficult for homeowners to understand the legislation and their rights all well knowing that those in power will only cite the pro-HOA points and omit the pro-homeowner protections.
GOTCHA AGAIN! Don’t fall for it!
This attempt by Rep. Rodriquez feels like an anti-slapp move if it were in the courts — an action to stifle free speech. Marjorie Murray presents 2 instances of where an anti-slapp motion can and should be used against the HOA. Contact Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Center for California HOA Law opposes the bill and urges Californians to contact their representatives and Judiciary Chair by phone. The committee will hear this bill this week.