Newly-elected HOA President Exercises Power…Off To The Court House They Go!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Kenneth Torrence is a Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy. His best friend is his mixed breed dog, Sasha. But they both have the misfortune of living in the Whispering Woods of Palm Beach Homeowners Association. Kenneth and Sasha have lived there for two years with no problems.  

Suddenly, a newly elected HOA president, Maria O’Connell, says Sasha is a pit bull and has to go. In fact, a  letter sent by Castle Management LLC says, “If you do not take action to resolve this violation within (10) days of the date of this letter, the Association will have the work performed, with all costs charged to your account.”  
What are they planning???  To steal his dog?  Put her in the animal shelter? Euthanize her?  
Animal activist Maria Rivera says Sasha isn’t a pit bull. In fact, a DNA test showed she’s a mix of five breeds. Besides, Rivera says, other neighbors and their dogs like Sasha. The only one who doesn’t is Maria O’Connell.
Torrence says he’ll take it to court. Initial legal costs will be around $30,000.  But just wait and see what happens when the HOA pulls in its insurance-backed legal team to beat up on the deputy.  That 30,000 will be nothing more than seed money. 
I say, Kenneth, pack up Sasha and move!  Make a donation to the local animal shelter instead of paying for another vacation home for the HOA attorney!

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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