CASE...BOARD REFUSED TO HAND OVER DOCUMENTS TO HOMEOWNER
BOARD SPENT $400,000 PLUS of homeowners without DUE PROCESS and were removed by majority vote of the ASSOCIATION
May 15, 2006 Case No: 06ws01027 - Mark Shapiro v Surfside Homeowner Association
Small Claims Court
County of Orange
Branch: Westminster, California
plaintiff pro per
Represented by: none
Surfside Homeowner Association
Represented by: none
6. Do you still have CAI vendors running Surfside HOA?
Do you still have CAI vendors running Surfside Homeowners Association?
Posted Oct 10 2006 12:33AM CEST
5. The Board of Directors at Surfside HOA has been recalled and a new board in place
As of October 2006, the Board of Directors at Surfside HOA has been recalled and a new board in place due to the prior boards many indiscretions and violations of ignoring ccrs, stirling davis act and civil code.
Posted Oct 1 2006 6:07PM CEST
huntington beach, California
4. Background check on HOA lawyer, fees to lawyers, name of Pro-tem judge
How much does the board pay your HOA lawyer to advise them?
Did the association do a background check on the lawyer and get a list of conflicts and lawsuits he and his firm has been involved in before hiring him?
What was the name of the Pro-tem judge?
Posted Jul 29 2006 5:14AM CEST
3. We need the feds and the I.R.S.
Here is a likely scenario, and from this is what happened in my case from what I have been able to piece together and then ascertain after fighting a small claims action over production of one document for over a year and a half (and losing due to what can only be by what transpired, a "friendly" judge).
Homeowner requests document. Little does homeowner know, but Board has purchased insurance indemnification policy providing D&O coverage to Board AND agent granting automatic coverage, but there must be a lawsuit filed first before it will extend coverage (said policy being "brokered" by the management concern by Farmers, CHUBB, etc. with this great "free" benefit for them).
Homeowner gets no response for over two months. Homeowner then files small claims suit for excess dues collected because document has not been produced which verifies sum which has been over-collected (correct CC&Rs, of course, not being provided to new owners, or language so convoluted that only someone that actually does take the time to do the math finally "catches" the error). Homeowner then sustains property damage (since attorney, agent and insurer are all trade affiliates and homeowner is outraged over this policy and the actual guilty party, the "agent" who has withheld the document so it and its affiliated counsel can earn extra sums during the litigation process). HOA attorney moves case to more favorable court. Judge refuses to allow homeowner to amend complaint to include retaliatory actions (first clue). Judge also does not rule using Arizona statute and law regarding members right to view records, but gives HOA and attorney 30 days to produce document using Rules of Civil Procedure (Law over rules is common law priority).
At llth hour, HOA attorney emails document, which is not amendment validating rate, but 10 year old membership vote which required ratifying each year. Member still has not been allowed to see additional records requested, i.e., corporate record book, and is threatened with security removal after finally being granted a court order by the favorable judge (it has now been over five months since the document was requested, and $10,000 in legal fees for one hearing, and basically running up fees in illegally withholding a document or instructing its management concern to do so, with the court's permission (since the insurer is covering all this at this point). Arizona law sanctions this by providing a statute granting the Board "safeharbor" protection (not liable if it relies on the advice of a "professional"), and no civil penalties for attorney or agent, who are being paid with funds contributed unknowingly by homeowner for the insurance coverage.
Homeowner receives abusive email letters from attorney when homeowner objects to this continued defense. Then, court allows the insurer also to enter in the defense, so homeowner is now facing two defense attorneys over a $2,000 claim for over-charges in assessments in this "suit of omission" in initially providing substantiation. Finally, tired of this abuse and with legal fees appearing on her homeowner ledger in the amount of over $12,000, homeowner forwards the less than $200 withheld while waiting for the substantiating document, and even send extra sums for all assessments through the end of the year.
Defense counsel then file for a summary judgment with the court stating that the only reason homeowner paid her assessments was due to the fact that defense had filed a collection suit against her (rather than providing the document, they in essence countersued stating that the $200 was owed, while not substantiating it). In this summary judgment request, CAI attorney and insurer defense attorney are seeking $30.00 for late charges, and $16,000 in legal fees. Favorable judge grants them the $30.00 and also the $16,000 in legal fees for this small claims case which lasted a year and a half.
Homeowner's request was due to fact that due to real estate disclosure laws, homeowner needed the document in order to sell the property with the correct assessment rate verified. Now she is attempting to sell the property as originally planned, while CAI attorney and insurer defense counsel threaten with debtor's exams, garnishment procedures and/or sheriff's sale when all assessment sums have been paid and were paid prior to or at date of judgment (additional "made up" sums were included because the $30.00 as late fees were not enough to retain the "foreclosure" remedy, so counsel "made up" additional sums on final judgment).
Insurer refuses halfway through proceeding to continue to pay defense costs, while still remaining as a counsel of record. Homeowner suspects CAI attorney then agreed to continue if Board would agree to "assign" him Association "right" to foreclose in exchange with continuing defense, even though with assessment paid, attorney is refusing to settle and self-generating his own fees, with an insurer counsel refusing to withdraw even though it has refused to pay any additional legal fees on the claim.
RICO, it would appear, between management company selling policy, withholding document, receiving sums then under its provided coverage for it and its CAI attorney, insurer then shifting all defense costs to "countersuit" in order to skip out on claim, judge ruling against contractual language and upholding records withholding, and $16,000 attorney award ("hired" judge pro tem with private practice less than two miles from CAI attorneys offices).
Check to see if your Association has one of these great policies. Although ours require "bond" coverage rather than insurance coverage, requiring "pay back" to the Association if the Board is acting outside its authority, and any insurance coverage to be at "owner's discretion" our Board bought this little gem of a policy at the recommendation of our CAI affiliated management concern.
And, the $16,000 I just lost will go to pay for additional campaign contributions and laws again stripping owners of their rights (and probably a "cut" to the judge, since it appears at least in Arizona that judges pro tem are how the responsible judges in these courts keep their hands clean for re-election, and then do the CAI bidding by hiring upon their recommendation for HOA cases (with even the ex-CAI president a Judge Pro Tem now in our Superior Court - lobbied for the laws, and now is charged with "interpreting" them according to his agenda in our Superior Court).
We need the feds and the I.R.S.
Posted Jul 24 2006 6:36AM CEST
2. I wonder if the HOA lawyers just sort of fueled the fire from behind the scenes, getting paid for every spark they ignite and flame they stoked!!!
Yes it is true that ultimately all the homeowners pay for this fine.
There in lies the evils of HOA's. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
However, if homeowners get fleeced enough, perhaps THEN the stupid legislators will write laws that fleece the corrupt boards, lawyers, and property managers who caused such a suit to be filed to begin with.
And what about the HOA lawyers - I wonder if they advised the board to show the records or they just sort of fueled the fire from behind the scenes, getting paid for every spark they ignite and flame they stoked!!!
Posted Jul 10 2006 6:19AM CEST
1. Tell California lawmakers to pass laws holding HOA politicians and CAI vendors liable when they break the Davis Stirling laws
The $590.00 fine charged by the judge for this violation should be personally paid by the board members of Surfside Homeowners Association? who refused to obey the law .
If the lawyer (Cane & Hawkins) and the Manager TSG (George Gustave) advised and participated in the illegal withholding of the HOA documents they should be the ones paying the $590.00 fine as well.
The CAI vendors wrote and continue to write the California Davis Stirling laws of California. Even when homeowners spend time and money going to court and win, all the innocent fellow owners and the wronged plaintiff ( Mark Shapiro) pay the judgement.
Mark, congratulations on your victory...but your victory only fleeced both you and your fellow owners.
To protect yourself and fellow homeowners take time to write published webletters to your lawmakers and CLRC's Brian Herbert who is being paid by California taxpayers to propose improvements to the Davis Stirling. Tell them to write laws holding the HOA politicians and CAI vendors liable when they knowingly break the law.
The take time to vote. Turf the politicians who take bribes from these CAI foreclosure vendors and keep helping them strip your home equity for their mutual gain.
Posted Jul 2 2006 4:25PM CEST