Texas has legislation that prevents HOAs from harassing homeowners over their display of the American flag. But that hasn’t stopped the Forrest Lake Townhouse Association from suing homeowner Billy B. Martin over his flag. Martin says the HOA’s flag at the clubhouse was tattered. The board members wouldn’t do anything about it. So he put up his own. That’s when the HOA started fining him $200 a day.
Houston’s Oak Forest Homeowners Association is discussing hiring off-duty sheriff’s deputies to patrol their neighborhood.
There’s an obvious and historic conflict-of-interest in hiring off-duty cops to perform the exact same duties in the exact same neighborhoods that they patrol during on-duty hours. And over the years there’ve been plenty of scandals involving off-duty police work.
Additionally, hiring police officers will not give the Oak Forest HOA immunity from any lawsuits in lawsuit-happy Texas. In fact, it may even be even more tempting for the litigious to sue for excessive force or other alleged ‘bad cop’ behavior. They get to sue the cop, AND the police department, AND city/county government, AND the HOA. Each entity has insurance to ‘buy off’ the lawsuit. Nice!
Governor Rick Perry talks frequently about how tort reform in Texas has turned around a medical malpractice crisis.
Possibly it did work. But after reading the article linked below, ask yourself if deceptive HOA fines, liens and foreclosures in Texas shouldn’t attract the same kind of reform?
Texas is one of the top states where the HOA system has deprived homeowners of fundamental Constitutional rights.
I used to live in Texas. In fact, I grew up with the ‘Blue Book’ which was required reading for all Texas elementary school students. It taught Texas kids to be proud of their state’s revolutionary heritage and to question authority. Back then it was a thing of pride to be a Texan. But that was before the HOA Movement put millions of Texas homeowners in a death grip.
These words were once penned by one of the mightiest men in our movement. Understand, of course, there are still miles to go before we sleep. But read, Dear Friend, and take heart.
And the Land Shall Be Made Good Again
George K. Staropoli
In the beginning
There was the land,
And the land was good
And the people were happy.
Soon upon the land
Came the moneychangers
In the guise of builders
Of the community.
And the moneychangers said