First, we need to discuss the HOA's ability to enforce their own laws.
Then, we need to discuss how to get one's items back.ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS
Now, the HOA has the right to enforce their own bylaws. Most often, said bylaws resort
an individual who is breaking these bylaws. On rare occasions, the HOA takes more direct action (such as here). Now, is the HOA allowed to take someone's property? Well, if the action is reasonable
under the circumstances. For example, if the HOA warned someone to pick it up, and it was against the bylaws, and the HOA gave reasonable time for the individual to do this, and if they still did not, then this may be allowed.
The issue also rests in the reason for the bylaw. Any bylaw that is unconscionable
is invalid. Anything that is unconscionable is invalid. Best v. US National Bank, 714 P. 2d 1049 - Or: Court of Appeals 1986
(discusses contract unconscionability, but still applicable). If they claim that the reason for this was to prevent a fire danger or to fit a uniform scheme in the HOA, this may be valid, but, is weighed against an individual's rights as an owner.
But in the end, the whole point is to get your things back. Whether or not their taking was proper, the action for retrieval is the same.GETTING ONE'S ITEMS BACK
First, a proper request in writing and/or per the bylaws/notification must be made. If there is no time and they may dispose of it or if this fails, one may file a Writ of Replevin
. Said writ is a request to the Court, asking the Court to make someone give property back that rightfully belongs to you which they have refused to return. See here
for an example step by step and petition (warning - immediate download).
One may also file an ex-parte
emergency motion asking the Judge to halt any disposal of the property as part of the writ, perhaps. An attorney is recommended for this action.
If one wishes to challenge the bylaws overall underlining this matter, a Declaratory Judgment
needs to be filed, which is a complete lawsuit. Again, an attorney is recommended.
May I recommend the Oregon Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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