Sex Offender? Oops!

A South Carolina condo owner got into a squabble with the board of his condominium because he had fallen behind in his dues. That’s not uncommon, but in the case of James E. King his board did something far beyond the uncommon. It sent out flyers saying that King was a registered sex offender.

Well, there is a James King in that state who really is a sex offender. But this condo board got the wrong James King. This King went to court, where a jury slammed the condo association with a nearly $900,000 judgment. The HOA will most likely appeal, probably on Monday. But the implications are staggering.

A libel/slander judgment probably won’t be paid by the insurance company. And attorneys’ costs, while not mentioned in the story below, could potentially double that amount. So if insurance doesn’t pay, who does?

Count the number of members of this condo, divide it into about two million bucks, then hand out the special assessments due within thirty days.


And you thought HOAs protected your property values.

(click here for The State Newspaper story)


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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.

2 thoughts on “Sex Offender? Oops!

  1. Nila Ridings

    Just typical of an HOA board trying to destroy somebody over their unpaid dues. I am so thankful this board got exactly what they deserved and it will be interesting to see what the other condo owners do when they are faced with paying this judgment. I wish it was five million dollars! This man could be faced with problems from this for the rest of his life!

    My HOA publishes the delinquent dues list even when they know people aren’t paying because the HOA is in breach of contract. I’m just waiting for the day when somebody files a lawsuit over damages caused by their malicious intent to do harm because they are doing the exact same thing this South Carolina HOA did to this man. It’s just a different set of circumstances but the intent is the same.

    Stupid. You cannot fix stupid!

  2. Dave Russell

    Holy Cow! Indeed, they got just what they deserved. The homeowners however, will pay the price for the stupidity of a select few. Anyone want to buy a home in this HOA?


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