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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Atty. since 1986; Plain English answers to family law, employment, landlord-tenant, & other questions
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Can I file a small claims suit against my homeowners association

Resolved Question:

Can I file a small claims suit against my homeowners' association for arbitrary or contestible fines ($300 + $100 finance charges) and additional charges to file a lien against my home? I've been denied appeal to the Board and have Covenant rules in my favor that the HOA is falsley interpreting. Damages: $800. owed, Defamation of Character-neighbors heard, Mental harrassment, etc.???
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.


While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me.


There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be researching the answer to your question, helping other customers, or taking a break. If we are writing late at night, I may have to go to sleep and resume helping you the following morning.


I need the following answered before I can answer your question. Sorry - it's a little bit of a different process from sitting in an attorney's office.


Can you please tell me what state is involved in your question? I cannot see it on my screen right now. I may need the information so that I can look up the law in your jurisdiction.


I'll look forward to hearing from you,


Jane Doe Deer


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Slidell, Louisiana
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

Rather than taking them to court, you may want to wait until the HOA takes YOU to court to collect on the fees.


What puzzles me is how they think they can impose various fees unless they have authority for these fees in the bylaws.


As far as defamation goes, attorneys are extremely reluctant to take defamation cases, and these are not usually heard in Small Claims Court.


I suggest that you write a letter to the HOA and ask them to cite the specific CCR or bylaw that gives them the authority to impose each and every fine they have imposed or are threatening to impose. Give them a deadline, such as 5:00 pm on October X, 2008 (give them a couple weeks to respond). Send the letter by certified, return receipt mail and keep copies of everything, of course.


Once you get the letter, ask for a hearing under the appropriate bylaw. Send the request for a hearing by certified/return receipt mail as well.


This may sound like a lot of busywork, but if they do take you to court to collect the fees, you'll be able to demonstrate that you tried to resolve these matters reasonably, but the HOA was neither acting reasonably nor following their own bylaws.


Please let me know if I've missed anything.




I'd be happy to answer follow-up questions.


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I wish you the best. You'll be ok. Be prepared for the worst, and you're always prepared for the best.


Jane Doe Deer



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