Recall our earlier conversation, please:I am afraid that you are asking for something that does not exist. People automatically assume that every nitty-gritty is covered by case law. This is not so. Case law is made when a Judge rules on a question brought to them by parties, on which the Court rules and issues an opinion which may be influential in other cases (i.e. case law). I am afraid that no case law has yet be made which defines the "usual and customary meaning for word natural, as of yet. It just does not exist. You may be the first to force the Court make that opinion, if someone in your situation appeals the case in a timely manner.
Ergo, there is no specific doctrine so as how to see this.Can association convenant be considered a 'contract' between the association and homeowmer?
While not a STRICT contract in the sense of that word, the answer is still yes. If the Court has no specific doctrine to fall back on to determine verbiage, it can use the 'default' rule of contract ambiguity:
of a contract is a matter of law for the court." OCGA § 13-2-1. Extrinsic evidence to explain ambiguity in a contract becomes admissible only when a contract remains ambiguous after the pertinent rules of construction have been applied. Holcomb v. Word, 239 Ga. 847 (238 SE2d 915) (1977). Under Georgia rules of contract interpretation, words in a contract generally bear their usual and common meaning. OCGA § 13-3-2 (2). However, "if the construction is doubtful, that which goes most strongly against the party executing the instrument or undertaking the obligation is generally to be preferred." OCGA § 13-2-2 (5). Georgia courts have long acknowledged that insurance policies are prepared and proposed by insurers. Thus, if an insurance contract is capable of being construed two ways, it will be construed against the insurance company and in favor of the 335*335 insured. See, e.g., Richards v. Hanover Ins. Co., 250 Ga. 613 (299 SE2d 561) (1983); Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Davis, 153 Ga. App. 291 (265 SE2d 102) (1980); American Cas. Co. v. Callaway, 75 Ga. App. 799 (44 SE2d 400) (1947); Massachusetts Benefit Life Assn. v. Robinson, 104 Ga. 256 (30 SE 918) (1898).
The court does not HAVE to take all this into consideration, but it may.If it is indeed to be considered a contract, wouldn't be necessary to ascertain what exactly the 'intent" of the association was when it wrote the phrase "fence must be stained or painted natural or white?,
Since this is not a strict contract under the definition of one, the Judge does not HAVE to use this It is at the Court's discretion whether or not to apply parts of contract ambiguity doctrine here. In so far as the word 'natural" has assortment of meaning, whose responsibility and/or duty is to do so?
Again, this depends on the intent, meaning, and overall circumstances.
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