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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I reside in a planned community in Utah, which has an HOA.

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I reside in a planned community in Utah, which has an HOA. For almost a year, now, we have had an appointed President of the HOA who has been a living nightmare for most of us. (He makes up his own rules; spends our money like water; does not release financial information as he should; cancels elections and appoints friends, etc.) We have signed petitions and voted on new bylaws to prevent this from happening again. We stopped short of taking him to court for financial reasons. He has already spent thousands of our dollars to hire a lawyer to justify his rogue actions, and we would need to finance his defense as well as pay our own lawyer! We're almost at the end of his reign of terror. He is resigning as of the end of his term, as well as all other 4 board members. The election was finished on May 8, and the ballots collected. Here's the rub: he refuses to give us the election results! We traditionally change administrations on June 1 (and he started his term as of June 1 of last year). He has now decided that the ballots will be counted at our annual homeowners meeting on June 20, and the new board will take over at that time! This , of course, leaves the new people no time at all to assign roles (secretary,etc.) and no time to prepare an agenda for the meeting. More importantly, he is granting himself extra time to make "investments" in our community. He has a frantic, and unwholesome, desire to change and 'fix' everything he can. He has fixed on a project at one of our gates that will involve a lot of electrical work. We are reasonably sure we cannot afford this project, and we need to regain some control over our finances. (My husband and I may need to move if the dues skyrocket here.) Here's my question: What can we do to force him to relinquish power on June 1? We don't have money and we're almost rid of him--but he canstill damage us. Can we get an injuction? Please help us. We are truly desperate. Thank you--Eileen Cox
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

This is one of the clearest reasons that when I get clients in my office looking to buy a home in an HOA I tell them to run and not walk away. This President is acting outside of the scope of the bylaws and he has no authority to do so from what you are describing. However, to stop him, aside from getting the required number of members and board members to call a special meeting to remove him (which it is likely too late now with the notice period your association requires in the bylaws) or to go to court on an emergency ex parte petition and motion for temporary restraining order to stop him from being able to act any longer as president and also to order him to comply with the bylaws and install the new officers. Unfortunately, this will take an attorney to get this into court and heard quickly before his June 20 reign of terror ends and your case becomes a moot point (as his attorney will try to stall things until then).

Once you get control of the board, you would then examine what he has done and if he engaged in any self dealing or improper behavior you can sue him personally on behalf of the HOA to make him pay for all of the damages and improper actions he took contrary to the bylaws.

These are your options I am afraid and aside from going to court you will not stop him any other way.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I guess we're stuck with this guy, for the moment. Can you give me your exact email address in case any other member of our community wants to pursue this matter with you?

Thanks again.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for the question--the info is provided. Please for give me for not leaving a tip--we're on a limited budget and I'm already stretching things by asking for this advice. (I will, however, recommend you and your service.)

Thank you for your response. They can ask for me as stated above and I will get to them and help provide them any additional information they are seeking.

I wish you the best in dealing with this difficult situation, these HOA issues are always so frustrating as the laws in UT and most other states give an HOA a lot of freedom in governing themselves and if this guy is not following the bylaws your only recourse is to remove him in accordance with the bylaws or go to court against him and seek damages and removal.