The continuing saga of Bendt and public speech in HOAs

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.

CAI recognizes HOAs DO have problems

In a recent Associations Now article, “Study: Homeowners Associations Hit New Population Peaks, CAI Skiba is quoted as saying: “‘Not all associations operate as well as they should, and we’re never happy when we see a community in the news for the wrong reasons, but at least we know struggling communities are the exception to the rule,’ CAI chief executive Thomas Skiba, CAE, said in a comment on the study.”  I believe CAI is waking up to the fact that it can no longer hide the real lives of HOA members.  I expect a mia culpa (I am guilty) announcement by a repentant CAI. It has no other choice to stave off being completely discredited if it refuses to come into the light.

To assist CAI in its path to enlightenment, I have prepared another critique of CAI’s views about the HOA legal scheme and operations in reality.  CAI has published its “Community Associations Fundamentals with the stated purpose that “CAI developed the Community Association Fundamentals to foster a better conceptual understanding of how associations function and the roles of residents and association leaders.” I will attempt to “decode” and examine what is really being said or not being said with the understanding that the word “fundamental” has the following generally accepted meanings, “forming a necessary base or core” or “of central importance.

Please read CAI’s HOA “fundamentals” analyzed and “decoded.” You can help CAI in its hour of need — spread the word.

 

CAI background

In 2006, and followed up in 2012, I published the following analysis of CAI’s membership. In Who controls CAI and its 50 state HOA lobbying committees? I used census and CAI data to show that only 5.9% of HOAs are CAI members, based on all ‘volunteers’ belonging to different HOAs with no duplication. If all CAI members were counted then there would be only 9.8% HOA representation.  Furthermore, a miniscule .6% (.006) of Americans are CAI members. The CAI quoted “63 million Americans” is that number of people, not CAI members, living in HOAs.

On CAI’s 14 member Board of Trustees, HOA ‘volunteers’ (misguided individuals who are mainly HOA board members) hold only 2 positions. Vendor members hold the other positions as HOAs are not allowed to be a member.

In spite of the miniscule minority representation of HOAs and HOA members, CAI Legislative Action Committees (LACs) lobby and dominate HOA legislation in all states.