Lots of HOAs have tried to ban expressions of Free Speech. Some have discovered, to their chagrin, how expensive it is to flout the Constitution by forbidding campaign signs, religious symbols in windows or Mezuzahs on door jambs. In one famous case an elderly gentleman who stopped on his lawn to talk to two elderly women was cited for holding an unlawful assembly. Cases like that go to the Supreme Court where the lawyers make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
guest blog by Deborah Goonan
In the recent landmark victory for HOA residents, Dublirer v. 2000 Linwood Avenue Owners Inc., Amicus Briefs were filed on behalf of both Plaintiff and Defendant. While CAI’s Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the defendant was not considered by the court, due to its late filing date, in this blog, for the sake of comparison, I will briefly summarize the opposing arguments, and offer my analysis.
Note to readers who may not be aware: In legalese, the term Common Interest Community (CIC) is used to encompass what we generically call HOAs: homeowners’ or condominium associations, cooperatives, master planned communities, and the like.
A fundamental right most Americans think they have is Free Speech. It’s a bedrock of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment is so ingrained in the minds of Americans that most would swear that their freedom of speech and religion cannot be compromised.
Welcome to the world of the HOA, where Free Speech and Freedom of Religion is trashed every day. There are high court decisions which are often quoted as giving the typical HOA the right to deny your First Amendment freedoms. Google “Twin Rivers decision” to find a significant State Supreme Court decision which essentially says you don’t have the right to inform your neighbors about your political beliefs.