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Southern Walk HOA charged me $1,506.88 in “legal” fees for daring to ask to see the HOA docs

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by cogs, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Every HOA election comes down to people raising votes. The counts are so low.. just getting everyone on your block to vote for you is huge. People have to drum up votes. You can't count on your nomination letter, newsletter, etc.. they gotta go door to door or through their network of connections to raise votes.
     
  2. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Sent a letter to Southern Walk HOA in early September seeking clarification and justification of the legal charges. They have not responded.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I don't think you want a response...they will have their attorney write it up and then charge you for the response!!
     
    beachgal, redon1 and hornerjo like this.
  4. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Don't forget he will need an NDA signed to view the response too!
     
  5. kevinq

    kevinq Member

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    First, you have to get onto the ballot. cogs mentioned in a different thread that residents will get the notification of elections and nomination forms at the same time (and probably the election ballot/proxy form). If you are not on the ballot when it gets sent out, you will need to win as a write-in candidate against those candidates that do make the ballot. Therefore, I suggest getting a copy of the nomination form and submit it to the SWHOA very soon so that your name makes the ballot that is included in the mailing to SW residents.
     
  6. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Yea I agree with Cliff in that I think the Board is trying to do what they can to get Shashi's standing to be screwed up. The whole think stinks and this NDA is just beyond ridiculous. And please all of you, keep an eye out for the Annual meeting dates. As of right now it appears to be Dec 19, but that could change. Please plan to be there because these forums are just not enough for important questions/issues....
     
  7. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Although technically not illegal this is another completely UNETHICAL practice of the SW HOA. This clearly makes it very difficult for someone to run for the Board that isn't an incumbent. I have been involved in HOA Boards/management for a long time and have NEVER seen another HOA do it like this.
    Shame on them.
     
  8. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

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    I have been out of the loop. I just read all of these posts. We need to dissolve the SWHOA, but first we need to vote in a SW FOIA. Who wants to plan an "Overthrow the SWHOA" meeting? I want an HOA with nothing to hide from ANYONE, regardless of lawsuits. Justice should prevail regardless of tactic.
    Let it be known that I, Sunny Trippel, SWHOA resident, urge the SWHOA board members to redact all charges that have been issued to Shashi. Further, there needs to be a temporary sub-committee formed that acts as an information dissemination group as well as one that develops a protocol for the continuation of this Openband lawsuit, if it is to go on. Plus another sub-committee to work on studying the impact of dissolving the SWHOA. That should be our goal, after all. Who wants to get serious about accountability?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
    Bandit1, jjenkins and Capricorn1964 like this.
  9. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Well-Known Member

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    Sunny- I agree with you...but sad to say..Most HOA board members everywhere want to keep their power. Power to them is so intoxicating that they will do everything and anything to keep anyone else from stepping in to take over the HOA whether its by rational means or not.
     
    chris67 likes this.
  10. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

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    Strength in numbers. Who's with me?
     
    Bandit1, chris67, cogs and 1 other person like this.
  11. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    The members of this HOA are not capable of running a complicated litigation. Yes, a legal advisory committee comprising 3-4 residents knowledgeable in legal issues should be overseeing the litigation.

    A meeting is a good idea. Wonder if BHOA would let us use the Nature Center.
     
  12. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    I think Sunny you are on to something, but a serious effort at outreach would be needed. And time is not much before the next election and I am afraid that most residents have no clue about any of this.... but that is wrong. There should be more outreach about this either way. And using the Nature center is a good idea. Can someone reach out to them today and the BHOA?
     
  13. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

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    I reserved the community center for November 12 at 8pm for a SouthernWalkers social meeting to discuss the neighborhood topic of our Openband contract. It's not an HOA meeting, it is a concerned residents meeting, held by a concerned resident:) Try to put a muzzle on that. All homeowners are welcome!
     
    Bandit1 and Asia like this.
  14. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Thats great, Sunny. Thanks for doing this.

    We should send a mailer to every southern walk resident. UPS store is going to give me estimate for mailing post card and letter to 1100 homes. If the cost difference between them is not too great, we can go with letter. I will pay for the mailing costs at no obligation to anyone. This issue is so important for the community, it justifies the cost IMHO.

    SW facebook group had little over 200 users. Can someone start these discussions on the SW facebook group at the risk of booted out of the group and possibly subject of scorn. Since BHOA decided not to censure posts based on the content, many user spoke out and the attacks from SWHOA and friends has stopped.
     
  15. Sunny

    Sunny Chief Advisor

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    I don't want to undermine the work that our SWHOA does, I just want to come up with ways to improve it. Honestly I have yet to hear from you how you would like to do that with all of the info you have collected. Also, At the risk of sounding skittish I don't want it to turn into a campaign meeting for you. No offense, of course. So I think posting online and talking to neighbors would be okay, even passing out flyers, but using personal funds to market a meeting might create a conflict of interest. I want to support the board- I want it to function more smoothly. I want residents to have a safe place to do that.
     
  16. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Sunny... you are on a roll so may I suggest you create a whole new thread on the Community and Openband forums with the meeting announcement? I think you are right, it is best to advertise as a "concerned homeowner" meeting... Openband, lawsuit, elections, costs etc. as key topics. And we should spread the word as best we can.... but I would hate to see Shashi's actions of sending a mailer as "campaigning".... but thanks for offering.
     
  17. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

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    Too late Sunny the campaign is in full swing!
     
  18. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Good points, Sunny.

    I was not intending to do any campaigning. You have suggested a community meeting because you have concerns that need to be addressed. You (we) need to inform the concerns to all the homeowners when we seek their participation. Our main concern is the Openband Contract and the way this litigation is executed. In addition, we have ancillary concerns about the functioning of SWHOA.

    To analyze the state of this litigation we can take three approaches:

    1. Believe the positive spin given SWHOA and Mr. Rommel
    2. Read the Courts decisions to arrive the conclusion that SWHOA’s 2 complaints and one motion to amend in the District court are dismissed on procedural/technical grounds. And the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Courts dismissal.
    3. Take a step further and try to understand the reasons for dismissals by reading the motions filed by both parts and transcripts of hearing.

    I took the third approach and I found that our legal team including attorney Mr. Rommel are doing an inadequate job.

    Failure is part of any endeavor. The key is, we learn from our mistakes, improvise and perform better in the second and third attempts. In our personal lives, we would not tolerate repeated failures whether it is a plumber or a doctor. Unfortunately, our HOA is adamant that it would not change either the strategy or the attorney. There is no rationale for their stance, except personal ego.

    After nearly 2 ½ years and nearly half a million dollars spent on this litigation, its time the community members to realize, that this HOA board as miserably failed and take remedial measures.

    While I do not question the intent and desire to win of any of the board members, it is clear that this matter is too complicated for this board handle, especially for the CEO of the board, Ms. Cotti. They are just not the right people for the job. In my opinion, entrusting the litigation to a more qualified and competent group of people is the best thing we the homeowners can do.

    As Landsdowne is miles ahead of us and they are doing a very competent job, may be is best for SWHOA to wait for Landsdowne's final outcome. If they are successful, they would have set the president, stare decisis, for us. If they fail, smart attorney(s) can improvise on Landsdowne before going forward.

    Those are my opinions. Others might have different suggestions which might be more valid.

    I attended several monthly meetings of this board in the last one year. I have never seen a healthy debate among the board members, even on contentious issues.

    After this $1500 episode, I decided to run for office to so I can initiate the debate on issues which the current board members are not engaging in.

    My offer was to bring our issues/concerns to every homeowner’s mailbox. No campaigning. This year, I believe there would be 3 director positions open of election. It’s a very good opportunity for the community to take steps to bring the change we wish to see in our board.

    As a matter of fact, I am willing to step aside if qualified and dedicated residents are willing to step in and run for office. In my opinion, Shashi is immaterial in the grand scheme of things. Getting rid of Openband, and bringing normalcy and sanity to HOA are the top priorities.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  19. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    For the benefit of the Southern Walk residents, here is the listing of the court Rulings:

    1. Ruling in the hearing was held on July 29th, 2011.
      a. “... in reviewing the agreement submitted on the facts pled – on the facts pled, I think that this Telecommunications Services Agreement is a permissible bulk billing agreement and not an exclusivity clause prohibited from the 2007 FCC Order.”
      b. “… I’m of the opinion that on the record before me now what been pled, I am not sure I have a real case of controversy...”
    2. Ruling in the hearing was held on October 21st, 2011:
      a. “Like the original Complaint filed in this case, the Amended Complaint fails to present an actual case or controversy for adjudication because the Plaintiff Southern Walk has not pled that Defendant OBB has taken any action to bar competing video service providers from access to the SWAB Development…”
      b. “Plaintiff Southern Walk fails to establish standing to bring the present suit in its own right.”
      c. “Plaintiff Southern Walk also fails to establish standing to bring suit on behalf of its members because the Amended Complaint does not include sufficient pleading that any of its members would have standing to bring this suit in their own right.”
    3. Ruling on Southern Walk's plea to amend the complaint filed on Dec 4th, 2011:
      a. Based on the facts alleged the Proposed Second Amended Complaint, Southern Walk’s claim that the easements for the provision of telecommunications services to the SWAB Development are void for cessation for the purpose is not ripe for this Court’s consideration. The ripeness doctrine developed from Article III’s case-or-controversy requirement to prevent federal courts from engaging in “premature adjudication” and “entangling themselves in abstract disagreements…”
    4. Appeals court ruling in the hearing held on Jan 29th, 2013:
      a. Although we conclude that Southern Walk failed to plead facts adequate to establish either individual or representational standing, we cannot affirm the district court’s ultimate dismissal of Southern Walk’s amended complaint with prejudice.
      b. In sum, we affirm that portion of the district court’s judgment dismissing Southern Walk’s complaint, but vacate that judgment to the extent that the dismissal was with prejudice, and remand to that court for dismissal of the case without prejudice.
    Nearly 2.5 years and over $400k spent, and these are the outcomes.

    As if that is not bad enough, our HOA seeks to punish anyone questioning them. HOA President makes up fictional stories to suit the moment as seen here (you need to register to view this thread):
    http://www.broadlandshoa.org/hoaforum/index.php?threads/openband-to-be-sold.30337/#post-176361

    Is anyone happy with the functioning of this HOA?
     
  20. vikasgarg24

    vikasgarg24 New Member

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    Mr Sashi

    I read your comment and looks like you are not happy with current board. I am not sure who is right (Current board/Sashi analysis) but I usually analyze things like a running a business. As a Business owner I look for a employees who took a new initiative and trying to achieve a goal. many times things don't go the way you project and we usually trust the people who always find a way to resolve the issues. I didn't get a time to review all in details but based on preliminary review looks like you are suggesting to wait and watch Lansdowne result and then act accordingly. Most of the time I see you are trying to get the loophole/unsuccessful stories in current board members. I believe as current management are under lawsuit they cant disclose many facts to all homeowners to avoid further
    As a business owner I feel whenever we do something we face issues / hurdle on the road and always trying to get a solutions.

    Let me just ask you a simple question: Do you have any plan / outlays / strategy etc. to close this issue. ? If yes do you think you can share on this forum. If your plan is solid or full proof as compare to current management I will be with you. Also on the other side if I feel current management has a better plan / strategy I believe you will start cooperating with them and work as a Team member.
     

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