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#19077
NEVADA Owners Association illegally charged OFFSITE OWNERS for years ! Friedrich v Rancho Bel Air 2020/05/19 17:43  
Not legal advice, as usual.

A Nevada Supreme Court decision has upheld a civil jury's 2017 finding that FOR YEARS a Las Vegas POA Property Owners Association fraudulently billed & collected contributions from the owners of offsite properties !

It's a STORY of one victim Jonathan Friedrich's SIX ( 6 ) YEARS of litigation triggered by gobsmacking foreclosure threats from the neighbouring Owners Association after Nevada officials discovered & publicized the unlawful activity.

This dispute has been chronicled for several years by Deborah Goonan's interesting website Independent American Communities.

( There are similarities to litigation involving certain disputed Twilight Zone voodoo billings & threats by Toronto's Wychwood Park Trust association in flat out contravention of the Positive Covenant Rule. Three out of five judicial outcomes there showed a bizarre defiance of current & past appeal court jurisprudence by Canada's Supreme Court & by Ontario's Court of Appeal. https://ontario.cafcor.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=46&func=view&id=18737&catid=2#18737 )

In a 5:2 appeal decision Nevada Supreme Court's majority has rejected POA Rancho Bel Air Phase 2 Inc’s appeal from a 2017 civil jury decision ordering it to disgorge SEVENTY PER CENT ( 70 % ) of almost a decade of certain UNLAWFULLY collected POA fees.

Those unlawful POA contributions had been billed to & received from nearby offsite homebuyer Jonathan Friedrich (and apparently from as many as 32 other sets of offsite property owners )

Friedrich’s property title is confirmed one more time NEVER SUBJECT AT ALL TO SUCH POA LEVIES !

In 2012 the truth came out. Nevada authorities discovered & alerted the POA & others : that NO SUCH OBLIGATIONS were on offsite titles nor payable by the 33 nearby homes involved - built earlier presumably by a common developer.

BUT the POA in 2012 INSTEAD demanded that the 33 sets of nearby offsite owners KEEP ON PAYING !

OR face some sort of ( voodoo ) foreclosure !


For target Friedrich 6 years of litigation has ensued.

Background :

The latest decision’s footnotes incidentally clarify that any contribution covenants - IF at all - on the offsite property titles of Friedrich & 32 other sets of owners, had already expired anyway by internal expiration provisions in 1995.

BUT while acquiring his home in 2003 Friedrich had missed a subtle disclosure in the fine print of the purchase documents.

His package of title documents mischievously – even outrageously - physically attached CCRs ( covenants etc ) of the wrongdoing appellant / defendant Rancho Bel Air POA Phase 2 !

But elsewhere in the package, more fine print reportedly declared such contribution to be at best merely voluntary.

Friedrich ( & possibly other exempt good ole’ boys & gals ) began dutifully paying invoices for years, failing to understand until 2012 that such POA demands were neither lawful nor compulsory.

LITIGATION EVENTUALLY ENSUES

Outrageously after those beans were spilled, the appellant defendant POA next demanded that Friedrich & other victims encumber their titles or face FORECLOSURE etc under whatever voodoo process !

The subsequent 6 years of litigation have arguably demonstrated the stubborn ignorance of the POA, its legal representatives & defending insurer. They ultimately latest argued that refunds had been demanded untimely ( too late for Friedrich to start demanding ).

BUT on June 29/17 a Nevada civil jury held the POA civilly liable for “negligent misrepresentation”. https://independentamericancommunities.com/2017/07/09/jury-rules-in-favor-of-homeowner-in-case-of- non-existent-hoa/

BUT curiously that same jury ordered a refund of merely SEVENTY PER CENT of those unlawful payments despite the POA’s bizarre lack of lawful hegemony !

The Nevada S.C decision here construes that the 30 % NOT ordered disgorged, was the civil jury’s penalty for Friedrich not reading / understanding the bizarre purchase package ! ( The civil jury’s 'decision form' also cites a non-liquidated benefit to Friedrich - left unidentified. ? Whether such dubiously meant a spillover of nextdoor neighbourhood’s ( mis- ) governance ? )

( Was that jury-imposed penalty fair or worth burden-sharing ? Like misguided victim-blaming ? If Friedrich & others SHOULD HAVE understood it, how possibly could the POA, its counsel & the THREATS escape a VERY high degree of culpability ?

Continued by threats after exposure, was this oppression arguably even mail fraud ? Or even a RICO corrupt organization scenario ? )

But anyway the POA & its insurer went on to challenge the 2017 jury award for another 2 years, claiming ‘un-timeliness’ before Nevada’s Supreme Court upheld the jury’s partial refund award. That's the dissenting judges' sole rationale.

From the POA’s insurer Mid-Century Insurance Co. in late March 2020 Friedrich also received a payment of $ 188 K ( U.S. ) of the $ 273 K ( U.S .) which Friedrich estimates he spent by Jan 2020 in fighting off the oppressive POA.

That’s about 69 per cent of Friedrich’s legal costs. American Independent Communities quotes Friedrich's own takeaways from the wider experience & also shows some happy photos.

Hope he also got his 70 % of unlawful contributions. Did any of the other offsite owners also get refunds ?

see 2017 Youtube video ( Las Vegas Review Journal ) “Las Vegan battles his HOA and wins in the Supreme Court” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuNz6j0ZMQg

RANCHO BEL AIR PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, UNIT 2 INC. v. FRIEDRICH issued Nov 22/19 Nevada Supreme Court # 74816 https://scholar.google.ca/scholar_case?case=17859722737399853841&hl=en&as_sdt=2006

April 13/20 D Goonan ( Independent American Communities site )
Payback ! After 6-year legal battle, Judge orders nonexistent HOA to pay homeowner $188K in legal fees” https://independentamericancommunities.com/2020/04/13/payback-after-6-year-legal-battle-judge- orders-nonexistent-hoa-to-pay-homeowner-188k-in-legal-fees/
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