How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ScottyMacESQ Your Own Question
ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 15761
Experience:  Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
19487448
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
ScottyMacESQ is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A board has publicly humiliated a homeowner in our newsletter,

Customer Question

a board has publicly humiliated a homeowner in our newsletter, not by mentioning name directly but identifying specific characterisitics of there home attempting to embarras and harras the family due to a violation of painting the house.
The board has hired its attorney from the property managment company to issue daily fines, however they continue to individually harrass.
i though if there was an attorney involved the communication from the board should not continue
any causes of action in Ga?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. Unfortunately, no. The presence of an attorney doesn't waive the client's first amendment rights to speaking out about it. The only real requirement is that an attorney that is hired generally has to speak to the court and make formal legal pleadings, but there's no law that says that once an attorney is hired the client has to be quiet (much as I wish there was, because I've had to advise clients to keep their mouths shut... I would have no legal basis to force it, nor would others, but it's advisable). I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry i did not ask the correct question.a house was painted against recent new changes to the acc. the board has launched an attack publicly humiliating and harassing and threatening the homeowner, Most recent wrote a two page article about it to the other 1200 homes. embarrassing and harassing them
the board has acted outside the scope of normal behavior and has launched a personal attack on this new young family, because they dont want young kids in the neighborhood.
i am looking for potential causes of actionsuch as bad faith ?
discrimination etc?
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 1 year ago.
There would not be a lot of causes of action even if all the fact were present. If it's the truth (even if it's harmful and hurtful) it's not actionable under defamation law (which requires a false statement to be communicated). If the HOA enforces this rule unevenly (having let others get by with such a violation) and it could be proven, that could be a case for "selective enforcement", which is not really a cause of action but a defense to a case brought against the homeowner. It could potentially be used in a "declaratory judgment" scenario to ask a court that no violation is present. Finally if it could be proven that their actions were because they don't want kids, and they were discriminating against the homeowners because of the kids, that would be a Fair Housing Act violation. The problem is to show that this is "pretext" as it would be a violation of the covenants. It would still need to be shown that regardless what they say is the reason for their actions, the real reason is discrimination based on having children. So it IS possible to prove such a case, but it would be an uphill battle and depends entirely upon having the evidence to prove this intent.
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 1 year ago.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 1 year ago.
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 1 year ago.
Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Related Real Estate Law Questions