Our road association is actually not an "association", nor is it registered with the county. It is an informal maintenance
group that collects annual dues($125/yr.) to cover the costs of maintaining the private road as required by CA Civil Code 845. We are in a rural, unincorporated area, & our road maintenance group was formed by the original home owners who paid to have the road paved in 1992. CA Civil Code does not require the road maintenance group to be formal or registered, but it requires property owners who "use" the private road to maintain the road. Last year I contacted a county attorney to ask if owners of vacant properties should pay into the "group". The attorney's opinion was that since there were no buildings or homes, and the owners did not "use" the road, they did not have to pay for "maintenance". The majority of our home owners agree, but the "son" was outraged.
The "son" was also outraged that after 4 years of delinquent dues & 2 ignored Letters of Demand, I, as the sole officer of our road group, filed a legal complaint in Small claims Court to recover the dues & associated costs. The other 21 property owners have always paid, & we just completed $14,750.00 of sorely needed road work for which the "son" paid zero.
Note: The "son" says he has a Power of Attorney to handle his elderly mother's affairs.
I believe the "son" wrote the owner of the vacant property (my son & his wife) claiming to be the road group Manager as an act of revenge for having his mother served a summons to appear in court. He demanded that the vacant owner pay alleged back dues, penalties, & late fees- over $1000. BTW, the vacant property is not even on our road. I am currently the only officer of the group, though I just asked another property owner to be acting Manager until we can organize a meeting.
I have had 6 property owners tell me I am doing an excellent job that no one else will do. Everyone I talked to was thankful to have the pot holes fixed and the steep hill resealed.
I am angry because the "son" of the property owner lied about being an officer in our group to demand that the vacant land owner pay the outrageous amount to me- the Treasurer- when I have repeatedly told him that vacant owners do not pay. Could this be considered attempted extortion and/or fraud, so I could file a criminal complaint with the Sheriff's Dept.?
The "son" said he intended to sue the vacant property owners and put a lien on their property. And, he is crazy enough to do just that. He has a history of writing incoherent letters to all the property owners to tell them how I have misused the moneys they have paid, and even said that I probably paid my son's dues and then gave him the money back! This guy is not firing on all four, and he is doing his best to make my life miserable, which I could handle until he started harassing my son.
Our court date is not until 3/1/2016, and the "son" is set to represent his mother's property.
He will undoubtedly file a small claims case against my son and force him to miss work to go to court. This is what I would like to stop if at all possible, but I don't know what to do.
NO, the homes do not have any deed restrictions for private road maintenance. There is no Home Owners Association. Most loan companies will not approve a loan for new owners without a letter from me confirming that we do have a road maintenance group. When homes are sold, the Title Company pays road dues through escrow
. Precedent has always favored the road group, registered or not, because CA law requires all home owners must pay to maintain their private road in good repair for OES, fire protection, law enforcement, and ambulance service.
Sorry to be so long winded, I would have called, but the static and noise on my phone line is terrible & is not scheduled to be fixed until 12/18/15 due to storm damage.