Free Speech is Not a Right!

Those of us who follow such things know that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect people in Homeowners Associations. The one exception, of course, is if you’re ‘colored,’ whatever that means. There actually is some case law to protect racial minorities and the handicapped. But other tenets of the Constitution? Forget it. Due process? Forget it. Free speech? Forget it.

This latest story comes from a Fort Collins, Colorado resident who put up a Bernie Sanders sign on her balcony. It was OK for a while. After all, it’s a college town and college kids are taught all about the Constitution. They just aren’t told that Homeowners Associations are private corporations in which residents don’t have access to the Bill of Rights.

The new management company at the Baystone Apartments sent out threatening letters, warning of fines of up to $5000 for people who incorrectly display political signs. Once the story ended up in the newspaper the management company cried, “Oops!” But that’s only temporary. As soon as the public furor dies down they’ll start assessing fines all over again.

Long live the First Amendment! Well, that is if you’re not in an HOA! And 20 to 25% of Americans have already surrendered their right to Constitutional protection.


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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.

1 thought on “Free Speech is Not a Right!

  1. Deborah Goonan

    As I’ve said before, in the land of HOAs, “the Bill of Rights Need Not Apply” because associations are “private” organizations.

    …At least until enough Americans challenge the fact that residential housing developers and the HOA industry are, in essence, creating an alternative form of local governance that more closely represents dictatorships, banana republics, or communist regimes than a Constitioinal Republic.


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