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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. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    Really you shouldn't have to sue them, you should be getting a full refund with one heck of an apology from the entire SWHOA board.
     
  2. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

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    You don't want to beat the swhoa? What are your goals then?
     
  3. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Beat SWHOA? Why would I do that? Its our HOA.
    Do we "beat" our children when they go on the wrong path?
    We try to intervene and bring them back onto the right path.
    SWHOA is like our child who got into drugs.
     
  4. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    sowalker, I'm trying to figure out what goals are. Do you have some personal stake in the outcome?
     
  5. Mike OMalley

    Mike OMalley Active Member

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    Nothing but one-line passive-aggressive posts.
     
    chris67 likes this.
  6. sowalker

    sowalker New Member

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    Oh no personal stake other than being rid of open band and the associated drama.
     
  7. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Several weeks ago I filed a claim in the Loudoun County District Court against SWHOA seeking return of my money, $1506.88.

    Yesterday the court heard the arguments and ruled against SWHOA and awarded me the money. The hearing lasted for about 3 hours.

    I am glad that I hired Stevens Miller to represent me. He came up a smart strategy. He was meticulous in preparation and exceptional in the court room. A good attorney makes a huge difference in the outcome. Thanks Stevens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  8. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    Were you awarded legal fees too?
     
  9. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    That subject was not discussed.
     
  10. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    any transcripts? sounds like fun reading!
     
  11. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    This does not surprise me. I am glad you got your money back. This never should have happened and could have been avoided. I do not fault you for bringing the lawsuit. I would have done the same.

    And yes, let us know if there are transcripts... and share some of the high points if possible.
     
  12. DENALI08

    DENALI08 Member

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    Glad you got your money back - I wonder how much the SWHOA spent on defending this though which cost everyone in the association??? If you were in court for 3 hours my guess is the legal fees were 10X what it would have costs to have just paid you back. Another case where their "wonderful lawyers" have gotten us nowhere. Loss after Loss - we really picked a "winning team" -well winning in the sense that they have taken more and more of OUR money. Ridiculous!
     
  13. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    There are transcripts, SWHOA paid for a scribe. If you are in the swhoa you should be able obtain them (for $1506.88) :)
     
  14. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    District Court does not record the hearings, so normally there would not be any transcripts. However, SWHOA hired a Court Reporter to transcribe the entire hearing, they will have the transcripts.

    Why would SWHOA spend $$ to transcribe the hearing, unless they are planning on appealing this decision in the Loudoun County Circuit Court. But then, we were informed that SWHOA would be crediting my account, asked for a check instead. I am thoroughly confused why would they spend $$ on transcription and not appeal the case. Lets see what happens.

    Not sure if I can purchase a copy of the transcript from the court reporter. I believe transcription is an official court record and should be available to everyone at a cost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  15. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    I am sure we paid a big chunk of money defending this unfortunately. Back to my original point that we should never have gone down this path. Over on the Facebook page, I remember seeing some figures about the cost but that was a while ago. At the next meeting, I am sure that this will be asked and or explained (in my opinion).
     
    wulluas likes this.
  16. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    Community paid ALL of the legal expenses they billed me and the legal expenses they spent defending this.

    I will try to share some highlights from the court room later. Here are a couple of tidbits.

    They produced the attorney's bills which amounted to $1506.88. Most of the charges are for SWHOA president discussing with the attorneys,and attorneys corresponding with board members. One of the items was particularly of interesting. In the cover letter with NDA, Constance Miller (SWHOA's attorney) asks me contact her directly if I have any questions. So, I wrote a letter to her seeking clarification on which documents need NDA and which documents are available to me without NDA. Obviously, she spent time discussing my letter with the board and billed them for the time. SWHOA passed on to me this attorney fee also.

    Their attorney asks me to contact her if I have any questions, and when I do, SWHOA charges me for the attorney's time.

    Another pearl of wisdom: Minutes of the meeting reads that President Cotti proposed the motion that I incurred direct legal expenses (implication being, I asked their attorney to work for me), hence the HOA should pass on the charges to me.

    I still strongly believe, they engaged the attorney for the sole purpose of avoiding revealing the documents. As a byproduct, they had the legal bills of $1500, so they came up with the idea of charging it to my account hoping I would not be able to pay it and my account goes into delinquency, which allows them to stop me from attending the meetings and asking questions.

    Can you share the cost they mentioned on the facebook page?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  17. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    What about your legal fees? You said they were never discussed but your attorney should have raised the issue to recoup your fees - after all, this should not have required legal action had (SWHOA) received sound legal advice from their attorney, Constance Miller.
     
  18. cogs

    cogs Well-Known Member

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    KTdid,

    This case may not be over yet as SWHOA as the right to appeal in the Loudoun County Circuit Court. Them hiring the Court Reporter might be an indication of their intent to appeal. We have to wait and see. I cannot say anything more on this subject at this time.
     
  19. DENALI08

    DENALI08 Member

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    LOL KTdid - "Sound Legal advice" that's a good one! CM has done nothing right on any of the cases she has been involved in here - loss after loss. Only thing I'm sure she got right is how much she gets paid and that sure seems like a sweetheart deal!!!
     
  20. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Well-Known Member

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    Who was at the courthouse at the case? Entire SWHOA? Who is the President of the HOA nowadays? Im asking because there hasn't been much communication by the board nor has there been much transparency either.

    Im not surprised the HOA group hasnt won any cases thus far. All of our legal fees are going down the drain so to speak straight the lawyers' pockets. We'll never see the money back. Why they never get different lawyers to help them WIN
    any of their cases is beyond me.

    <sarcasm on> Either they have lousy attorneys who can't win a damn case or the only attorneys they can afford are the cheap ones <sarcasm off> Its our money the HOA is playing with and I feel they probably will raise the HOA fees again if they keep losing and not able to recover the funds. I'd be very surprised if they appeal it. Like some others have stated, I can't help but wonder if its becoming a personal thing with them by keeping appealing the cases in an attempt to notch one for their belts if they keep losing case after case! Sigh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014

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