The California Supreme Court last week upheld a lower court decision which would essentially prevent the CAI (Community Associations Institute) from controlling the outcome of all board elections in Homeowners Associations.
Truly, the CAI has emerged as one of the nation’s most disgustingly evil-minded institutions. CAI claims it represents homeowners, although sometimes it refers to ‘stakeholders’. What CAI really represents is a massive and growing cash diversion from private homeowners to tort lawyers and service providers. When a homeowner gets into a beef with his or her HOA, CAI refers the case to its own secret closet of favored tort lawyers. But the ‘California dance’ by CAI was just beyond belief.
California’s Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that an HOA which takes a position or becomes an advocate for a certain board candidate or ballot measure must provide “equal access” to opponents. This includes access to any means of publication including HOA websites, bulletin boards, community meeting rooms, newsletters and any other publication routes. CAI lawyers, of course, went ballistic.
Equal access? Who the heck ever heard of such an outrage? Equal protection? That’s for U.S. citizens, certainly not the citizens of HOA Amerika.
Twenty four California law firms filed ‘Friends of the Court’ briefs to the California Supreme Court begging the justices to overturn that stinking ‘equal access’ judgment. Count ’em: Twenty four law firms, each one of them sucking at the teat of the HOA lawsuit machine.
For a very brief background on this lawsuit, the Beachwalk Homeowners Association board figured out a sneaky way to get CAI affiliated members elected to the board. If the CAI-guy didn’t win, they’d just keep holding elections one after the other, advocating all the way until the homeowners got weary and finally gave in to the constant political propaganda and elected the previously chosen CAI-guy. These 24 HOA law firms, by filing such Friends of the Court briefs, demonstrated they were absolutely behind such odoriferous tactics. Remember the old Soviet Union where voters could vote, but there was only one candidate on the ballot? Well, the CAI-guy election tactic was Communism on steroids.
In a strange turn to Constitutional fairness and due process, the California Supreme Court essentially ruled that opponents of in-house candidates or ballot issues actually got to have the freedom to discuss alternative views. Amazing!
Any homeowner who wonders where his or her HOA dues are going, or who wonders why Homeowners Associations have become so despised by individual homeowners, should read the decision in the California case: Wittenberg v Beachwalk Homeowner Association.
Calling all homeowners: You finally won a big one! Congratulations!
(click here for California decision)
This story just made my day! Anytime the CAI is involved in anything, the homeowner, gets the shaft. After years of debate, our HOA finally realized, that the CAI does far more harm then good. I just love those calls each year, asking why we no-longer contribute to the CAI. And I just love answering back, “Because we don’t contribute to organized crime cartels.
I wish I had thought of that when I got the call!