Friday, April 22, 2016

Homeowners' Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks | Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. - JDSupra

Homeowners' Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks | Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. - JDSupra



I didn't know there were so many black bear sightings in Florida. I thought all they had were Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, alligators, piranha, walking catfish, and wild boar. Who knew they had anything normal that could kill you.

Michigan Lawsuit Shows U.S. Voters May Not Technically Have the Right to Elect Their Mayors - CityLab

Michigan Lawsuit Shows U.S. Voters May Not Technically Have the Right to Elect Their Mayors - CityLab

"Public Act 436 seeks to put local governments on better financial footing. It does this by appointing an [emergency manager] in jurisdictions where the Governor and State Treasurer have determined that the local government was experiencing a financial emergency. The Act does not take away a fundamental right to vote, because such a right has never been recognized by the courts."

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So said Federal District Court Judge George Steeh, in an order that is on appeal.



Most Americans view the right to vote as fundamental, as they understand that word. And they believe that self-government at the local level is a fundamental right that is at the core of popular sovereignty. But most Americans don't understand the constitution very well.  Listen to the utter nonsense that comes from "sovereign citizens," militia goons, property rights extremists, gun rights absolutists, Cliven Bundy, and a host of other fanatics, who come up with their own bizarre interpretations of a constitution that they don't remotely understand. For them, it means whatever makes them feel good.



The word "fundamental" has special meaning in the context of civil liberties jurisprudence. Some liberties and rights are viewed as being essential to constitutional governance, and laws that infringe on those liberties and rights are viewed with "strict scrutiny" by the courts.  When it comes to the right to vote, what is the scope of that right, and how "fundamental" is it?  In the context of the emergency manager law, is the right to vote merely the right to trot off to the polls and vote for people of your choice, or does the right to vote require that the people you vote for have the power to govern your community?  Because people in cities that had been taken over by governor-appointed emergency managers could still vote for city officials. It's just that the municipal officials they voted for no longer had any power to govern.



Related to this is Dillon's Rule, which is the old doctrine saying that local governments are just creatures of state law and state constitutions, with no constitutional right to exist except insofar as state law permits. Home rule statutes were a response to this principle, but ultimately those are just state laws, too, by which states delegate sovereignty to cities. That means state laws can take it away again.



To me, the right to vote is fundamental, and it should include the right to local self-determination. Operationalizing that can involve a lot of detailed issues, of course. But I don't like this emergency manager system, and I think the racism that underlies it is obvious. As the article explains, quoting a legal brief, there is a scoring system to determine whether to appoint an EM, and:  "...six out of seven communities (85%) with a majority population of racial and ethnic minorities received [emergency managers] when they had scores of 7. At the same time, none of the twelve communities (0%) with a majority white population received an EM despite having scores of 7 or higher."  




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hidden Harbor Homeowner's Association President indicted | WTVC

Hidden Harbor Homeowner's Association President indicted | WTVC: "Detectives investigated an allegation that Markee, who was the President of the Hidden Harbor Home Owner's Association, had embezzled monies from the association. Detectives presented their findings to the Hamilton County Grand Jury who returned the indictment."



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As I keep saying, there needs to be more visibility and more oversight of condo and HOA financial activities.

KFOX14 Investigates: Residents continue battle with Oasis Ranch HOA | KFOX

KFOX14 Investigates: Residents continue battle with Oasis Ranch HOA | KFOX: "Some residents living in the Oasis Ranch neighborhood in east El Paso are continuing their protest against their Homeowner's Association board.

KFOX14Investigates reported last week some residents stopped paying their $20 monthly HOA fees, saying they're not getting the maintenance services they pay for.

Dana Properties, who manages the neighborhood, said the HOA can't do needed maintenance because they don't have the money since people have quit paying the fees."

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Not paying HOA assessments is always a risky tactic. You can find yourself facing a lien on your home that can be released only by paying the assessments plus thousands of dollars in attorney fees and penalties.

Family watches in horror as dog mauled to death in their own home - 680 NEWS

Family watches in horror as dog mauled to death in their own home - 680 NEWS: "Tuesday night his little Havanese named “April” was mauled to death on the floor of his condo by a neighbour’s pit bull that got loose in the hall and muscled its way through his front door...



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I have no idea why people want to own aggressive dogs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Victoria homeowner horrified after tenant lists condo on AirBnB | CTV Vancouver Island News

Victoria homeowner horrified after tenant lists condo on AirBnB | CTV Vancouver Island News:



Cheeky of him.

CanLII - 2016 ONSC 2565 (CanLII)

CanLII - 2016 ONSC 2565 (CanLII): " This is an application for a declaration that the respondents have breached section 117 and 119 of The Condominium Act, 1998, SO 1998, Chapter 19 (the Act) by failing to permit the applicant to enter the respondent’s (Mr. Lu’s unit) to carry out repairs required as a result of flooding in the unit, and an order permitting the applicant to enter the unit as necessary to:

(a)         inspect the unit and common elements and determine the repairs required as a result of flooding in the unit, and;

(b)         to carry out the required repairs to the unit and common elements."



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Which it turns out the owner should not have done: " In the circumstances I find that the respondents should be responsible for costs in the amount of $12,000, payable immediately.