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CCOC Decision Summary

#540-O, Graninger v. Overbrook at Flower Hill Homeowners Association (September 20, 2002) (Panel: Reilly, Huggins, Perkins)

The homeowner (HO) filed a complaint against his homeowner association (HOA) requesting that the HOA reimburse him for the cost of a portable basketball hoop that he had installed on the common areas of the HOA.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the HO had installed a portable basketball hoop in the common areas of the community near the parking lot.When other residents complained about the hoop, the HO – who was the president of the HOA board of directors – responded on behalf of the board that the hoop was not a violation and refused to order its removal.However, the next year, the members voted in a new board and the new board ruled that the hoop was a violation, and sent a notice to the HO ordering the HO to remove it.At the hearing the HO testified he never received the notice.The board then removed and destroyed the hoop.The estimated market value of the hoop was $320.

The panel ruled that the HOA had the authority to order the removal of the hoop and that it did so properly.However, the panel further ruled that the HOA did not have the legal right to destroy the hoop.Rather, by taking custody of the hoop, the HOA created a "constructive bailment" under Maryland law and it was obligated to take reasonable care of the hoop.By destroying the hoop instead of returning it to its owners, the HOA wrongfully deprived the owners of their property.Therefore, the panel ordered the HOA to pay the owners $320 for the value of the hoop as restitution for their loss.

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