Saturday, February 09, 2013

TEXAS – Jury Decides for Homeowners – $1,356,880 Awarded Homeowners; $616,678 for Attorney Fees « HOA Reform Coalition

TEXAS – Jury Decides for Homeowners – $1,356,880 Awarded Homeowners; $616,678 for Attorney Fees « HOA Reform Coalition
" Houston – Years of frustration and lawsuits finally ended Friday February 8, 2013, when a group of homeowners at The Landing Condominium in El Lago, Texas, won their case before a Harris County jury. Maintaining that the Board of Directors of the Association failed to follow the Condominium Declaration, Bylaws and the Texas Property Code after Hurricane Ike, the homeowners, led by Mary Lou Durham and Lee Ann Wheelbarger, sought and won their damages and attorney fees for the demolition of their condominiums.
Attorneys Andy Taylor, Mitchell Katine and Gregory Cagle represented the homeowners in this case."

Friday, February 08, 2013

USA v. Mariner's Cove Townhomes Association

As part of the Hurricane Katrina repairs, the federal government used eminent domain to demolish 14 townhome units, and paid "just compensation" to the unit owners. The townhome association demanded compensation for loss of assessment revenue.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that no compensation is required because, "...the right to collect assessments is a real covenant that functions like a contract not 'directly connected with the physical substance of the land.'"  The court notes that the majority view requires compensation for lost assessment revenue when units are taken, but then goes on to adopt the minority view.  Why?  Private covenants might unduly burden government's ability to exercise the power of eminent domain, and this intriguing language:  "Another theory is that real covenants
are akin to contracts; that no contract of private persons can make acts done in
the proper exercise of governmental powers, and not directly encroaching upon
private property, a taking; and that “contracts purporting to do this are void, as
against public policy.” United States v. Certain Lands (In re Newlin), 112 F. 622,
aff’d, 153 F. 876 (C.C.R.I. 1907)."

Monday, February 04, 2013

Judge who shoved deputy found not guilty by reason of insanity -

Judge who shoved deputy found not guilty by reason of insanity -

This is not from The Onion:
"Brim has been hospitalized five times since her 1994 election after going off her anti-psychotic meds, according to testimony. In 2004, firefighters removed her from a courtroom and took her to a hospital, said psychiatrist Matthew Markos. Brim was hospitalized for 20 days after her arrest last year, he said. Markos said at the time Brim was hospitalized, she was catatonic, confused, irrational and showing signs of paranoia and psychosis. Brim was re-elected to another six-year term as a judge in November. She was backed by the Cook County Democratic Party as well as the Committee for Retention of Judges in Cook County, a campaign committee funded by judges."
Yes, you read that correctly. Brim has been on the bench in Chicago since 1994, despite being psychotic.  She has been psychiatrically hospitalized five times, most recently last year, which didn't prevent her from being re-elected for another 6 years with the backing of the Cook County Democratic Party and the judges' retention committee.  Sure, we all have our stories about judges, but I invite you to top this one.

In rush to urbanize, China flattens 700 mountains

In rush to urbanize, China flattens 700 mountains:
"Despite environmental concerns about the project's feasibility and long-term impact on this arid, polluted region, a government-hired private developer is slicing the tops off 700 low-level, barren mountains and filling in the valleys to create a 10-square-mile base for "Lanzhou New City," 8 miles from Gansu's grimy capital."
Urban planning, Chinese style.  "I am striving to win honor for Chinese people," says Yan, nicknamed "the Bulldozer."