UPDATE: See The Blaze followup –
Johnnie and Clara Russell moved from Keller to a home situated on two acres in the country several years. They were hoping to get relief from the rules of suburban subdivisions.
“We wanted a place, wanted to spread out and not worry about that sort of thing,” Clara Russell said.
But after the coupled nailed a sign with the phrase “Wake Up America” to their tree they were served papers. They were sued by a homeowner’s association they said they never joined or paid dues to.
Apparently the HOA sent the Russells a warning letter, but it was returned while they were out of town. The next notification came with a constable.
“We were shocked because no one had ever approached us,” Clara Russell said.
The lawsuit claimed the Russells violated the neighborhood’s deed restrictions, which only permit “For Sale” signs on properties.
Clara Russell prepared for court by visiting her neighbors. She found lots of signs, including one advertising a garage sale in the HOA president’s yard.
“I didn’t see us as doing anything anyone out here hadn’t done or hadn’t been doing all along,” she said.
But a justice of the peace disagreed and found in favor of the HOA, awarding the group $7,000 in attorney fees.
No one from the HOA would comment.
The Russells said they are now considering their next moves. They are thinking about appealing and may move to another house in another neighborhood.
Read more on myFOXdfw.com: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/111611-homeowners-sued-for-political-sign#ixzz1dz74TPuE
Do you have an opinon regarding this story?
This piece clearly illuminates serious issues in Parker County. A few questions are:
Do deed restrictions actually exist that prohibit the displaying of signs in this HOA?
If such restrictions do exist, how can such a blatant example of selective enforcement be tolerated by fellow HOA members? They could be next!
Could the JP legally make any other judgment?
Has this HOA gone outside the limits of their own authority in the past to seek punitive measures against their own neighbors?
If you lived in this HOA, would you tolerate the actions of the HOA board members who selectively enforced this sign restriction, or would you organize a campaign to remove each “yes” voting member from board?
This is not the first time this little band of dictators acted out of self righteous arrogance toward other members of their community. Remember the gun ban that trampled on the individual rights of citizens throughout the county?
‘Tyranny of the majority’ – just because you can legally bully your neighbor, that doesn’t mean you have moral authority to do so.