All too often among people who frequent this blog, we’ve seen injustice by virtue of actually having been dragged into a court of law to argue one side or another of an HOA case. I get lots of email from homeowners who feel they’ve been looted, not only by an abusive HOA but by judicial rulings as well. And I’ve spoken with attorneys who feel their homeowner clients did not seem to get fair and balanced rulings from the bench. Indeed, only a tiny fraction of HOA court cases ever come down on the side of the homeowner. Logic would tell you that such rulings would favor approximately half of those who stand before the bar. Instead, rumor has it that homeowners have about a one percent chance in court against an HOA.
The massive impact of the CAI (Community Associations Institute) cannot be underestimated. True, the CAI lobbies legislatures on behalf of Homeowners Associations. This is kind of a half truth, since CAI really lobbies on behalf of the vendors of Homeowners Associations, e.g., the lawyers, the property managers, the suppliers of HOA services. And they blatantly lie when they testify, as they often do, that they represent homeowners. But judges, many of whom, are well-connected and live in Homeowners Associations, cannot possibly be ambivalent about their support of the HOA system. Judges are human beings, and human beings are all ‘little walking bundles of bias.’ And many of those same judges are closely linked to law firms where fellow attorneys make a great deal of money from suing homeowners who live in associations.
So, when our friend in Pennsylvania sent us the following link about the spreading scandal among judges in her state, the immensity of the scandal set us back on our heels. Cash for kids, child porn sent from one judge to another, it just takes your breath away. We, as homeowners, want only to have a chance of fairness when we enter a court of law. If we’re forced to stand before the bench, while feeling contempt for the lack of human decency sitting there in judicial robes, well, it just demolishes our faith in the system.