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CCOC Decision Summary

#22-08,Opiyo v. Boland Farm HOA, #22-08 (July 30, 2009) (Panel: Fleischer, Gelfound, Negro).

A homeowner filed numerous complaints against both his HOA and various staff members of the CCOC.  He alleged that the board violated the governing documents by failing to maintain the HOA's corporate status, by failing to make records available, by failing to maintain the common areas, by failing to call annual meetings and elections, by failing to enforce the architectural rules, by failing to provide copies of minutes of board meetings, by making false claims about him, by improperly removing him as treasurer, and by failing to maintain the required insurance.  He also claimed that CCOC staff had allowed a fraudulent registration of this HOA.  The CCOC accepted jurisdiction of most of the homeowner's claims against his HOA for violation of its governing documents, but rejected jurisdiction of his claims against County staff.

The HOA in this case consisted of a small community comprised of only 5 homes.  Its common areas were limited to a stormwater basin and a driveway.

The hearing panel held two hearings on the dispute.  The HOA's representative essentially conceded that once it terminated its contract with a professional manager several years earlier and managed itself, it had done so on an informal basis, and had not strictly obeyed its own governing documents.  At some point the County became aware of the HOA's existence and warned it that if it did not register as required by law, it could be fined.  As a result, the HOA registered, and the HOA secretary, who filled out the registration forms, listed the homeowner as the HOA treasurer.  When the homeowner learned this, he protested to the County and the County removed his name from the registration, but it accepted the registration itself.   

The panel concluded that the HOA was in violation of several provisions of its bylaws.  The panel issued a lengthy order that created a timetable by which the HOA was to hire a manager to conduct an election, to hold the election and select officers, to renew its corporate status, buy insurance, file tax returns, and take other steps to comply with its rules.  The hearing panel retained jurisdiction of the case in order to monitor the HOA's compliance with the timetable.  However, the panel refused to award any requested costs or fees to the homeowner, finding him obstructionist and uncooperative.

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