Court Rules That Bloggers ARE Journalists

In my book, Neighbors At War, I encourage homeowners rights activists to keep track of the wrongdoing of HOA board members and shout those wrongs from the rooftops.

HOA board members are public figures because they sought election to a public position. They are therefore public figures and you as a critic have special protections against libel and slander lawsuits.

Now, yet another federal court has ruled the same thing. It’s a long string of court decisions that protect Freedom of Speech in America.

In the Oregon case linked below, a bankruptcy trustee sued a blogger who was critical of the trustee’s activities. Even though this trustee was not a public figure the court still ruled in favor of the blogger. Because the trustee’s activities were of public concern, he could not win his slander lawsuit unless he was able to prove negligence on the part of the blogger.

If you’re trying to correct problems in your corrupt or negligent HOA you have all the Free Speech protections that any journalist in America has. If you’re trying to correct bad behavior by out-of-control, fascist-like actions in your HOA, do it courageously!

(link to Associated Press 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.

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