Tag Archives: Free Speech

Ban Free Speech In An HOA?

The link below is from a homeowner in Minnesota who is outraged that her HOA has issued new rules against certain types of speech, like talking to your neighbor about the HOA board.

Can they really do that?

Well, yes they can. A private non-profit corporation can do just about anything it wants whether it seems constitutional or not.

A for-profit corporation can do the same. The Denver TV station where I worked for more than three decades had rules about private discussions between or among employees. Religion and politics were forbidden. Political correctness was mandated at all times.

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.

Important HOA Free Speech Decision! Print it out, and SAVE!

A few days ago I linked to the Mel Pittel case in the Meadow Creek Homeowners Association in a suburb of Minneapolis. Several years ago, Mel became suspicious of odd expenditures by his HOA board, and he got himself elected to the board. He also published a frequent blog about his HOA. The HOA, along with a powerful board member who owned a number of rental units there, not only refused to seat Mel on the board, but sued him over his website. A judge issued a gag order prohibiting Mel’s use of the Meadow Creek name on his blog.

How To Kill The Web: Copyright Law

A threat to all users of the World Wide Web is growing and it could catch all of us by surprise. The European Parliament is considering a change in copyright law that could impact hundreds of millions of websites. The same copyright changes have been suggested in the U.S. as well.

It’s called ‘ancillary copyright.’ Boiled down to basics, it means that websites violate international copyright law if they provide hyperlinks to other websites. In other words, if I give you a link to a publication that exposes a horrible HOA story somewhere I violate that publication’s copyright. The reasoning is horrible.

Free Speech in HOAs: protected in NJ, not in FL?

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

As the 2016 Presidential election campaign heats up, so do political sign controversies in homeowners associations. Here’s a perfect example from Florida, a dispute over a Hillary Clinton sign in a resident’s window.

Help Me Howard, Channel 7 WSVN, on political signs in your HOA(1)

Howard Finkelstein (2) is Public Defender for Broward County in Florida, but he moonlights as a legal analyst for the local Fox News affiliate. According to Finkelstein’s analysis, an HOA can deny a resident’s right to display a political sign as long as their documents are “written correctly,” and if the homeowner took this to court, she would “probably lose.” However, an HOA cannot allow some types of political signs (such as the one we see in the video about gun ownership rights) and not others ( a sign supporting Hillary Clinton).