Monday, May 2, 2011

UPDATE: Attorney for HOA Responds in Banner Dispute

Last week I wrote about the Burrs who have angered their Homeowner's Association in The Gardens of Southgate by placing a banner of support for their son in the front yard.  Their son is a Marine currently engaged in Afghanistan. 

Today I received comment from the attorney representing the HOA, Geoffrey D. Westmoreland, who respectfully requested "in the interest of balanced journalism," that I print the following press release:

This press release is in regards to the current dispute and controversy involving the Gardens of Southgate Association, Inc. (the "Association"), and Timothy D. Burr and Jodi M. Burr, who are residents in the Gardens of Southgate Subdivision, which involves a sign in their front yard.
The Board of Directors for the Association and the On-Site Committee for the Association will not comment on the facts, details or legal issues in the above referenced dispute, as that matter is currently pending.

However, the following is for the public record, and should be considered by those concerned about this dispute:

The Board of Directors of the Association, the On-Site Committee of the Association (which is the committee that addresses covenant enforcement), and all the officers thereof, support and agree with the message contained in the sign that has been placed in the Burrs' front yard.  Geoffrey D. Wesmoreland, attorney for the Association, also personally supports and agrees with the message contained in the Burrs' sign.
The Board of Directors of the Association, the On-Site Committee of the Association, all of the officers thereof, and their attorney support and are extremely thankful for the service that the Burrs are providing to our country, and for the service that their son, Corey Burr, is providing for our country.  The above mentioned also support and are extremely thankful for the service that all of our men and women in the United States military, and their families, are providing for our country.

The message and content of the sign located in the Burrs front yard has nothing to do with the current legal dispute involving that sign.  The Board and the On-Site Committee of the Association again reiterate that they support and are in agreement with the message contained within the sign that has been erected by the Burrs.

The release is signed by Geoffrey D. Westmoreland.  As he requested, I'm printing his release in its entirety.

Mr. Westmoreland, in his email to me, explains that he and his client believe that the Burrs have "been inaccurate in their alleged facts involving the HOA's consistent enforcement of the covenants, and that the Burrs' legal position in this matter is very weak."

The Burrs may want to get their hands on that KTBS tape of their story because the cameraman shot video of several signs in the neighborhood for the story. 

In response to the press release, Mrs. Burr expressed appreciation for their support of the military but wondered "why they have not had a problem with the other signs" in her yard for the past four years.

There were lots of interesting comments in the original post including one from a resident in the subdivision, and one from Sharon McCullar who was quoted in the original piece.  It seems there is no consensus.

As of today, the sign still stands. 

9 comments:

MikeAT said...

The Burrs sign still stands and I take it the other signs in the neighborhood are still there...just no action being taken against the other property owners by the Garbage Gestapo.

Typical HOA BS....please Pat, keep it going. The rats run with sunlight!

G. R. said...

All I gathered from what Westmoreland said can be summed up with something a wise old Indian chief once said to his council, "Him speak with forked tongue."

Laurence L. said...

He (Westmoreland) is trying to control the fire they started when they infringed on the Constitutional rights of the Burrs.

I am pondering whether there is a sovereignty issue involved here too, as in the Burr's. The HOA documents could be Nullified.

Also, how would the 2nd Amendment apply if this were a shooting of an intruder incident? I think the Castle Doctrine could be argued as well.

HOA is looking down a few barrels and they begin to know it.

Matt Sciba said...

Consensus or not, it seems the State or Louisiana already has legislation on the books to address this issue:

Louisiana Revised Statute, Title 9, Section 1141.3

"C. This Part shall not impair any right that is guaranteed or protected by the constitution of this state or the United States, nor shall this Part be construed to affect any act done, offense or violation committed, or right accrued."

Here's the link http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?folder=83

Laurence L. said...

Very slick by Matt Sciba! I love it when someone knows obscure laws that are so well buried from public easy access...

He's likely fought this already or must be a legal eagle. Either way, apropos for this deal. Do the Burrs know about this?

They'd like to if not.

Matt Sciba said...

Never fought it, just did a google search for "homeowners association, legislation" and an article appeared from 2004 about how many states were proposing and passing legislation to rein in the HOAs. One such article mentioned Louisiana's legislation, so I looked it up.

It's really not that hard to find pertinent information. Just log on to the Louisiana Legislature website and type in the keyword.

Anonymous said...

Who is the developer of this neighborhood, and what vote are they going to cast since they have a 3 - 1 vote on this issue? I sure would not buy a home in a neighborhood governed by an association in which the developer was anti-military, so hopefully they are voting in favor of the sign.

And if I were the Burrs, I would press the issue around the other signs being allowed for quite some time. If the HOA has allowed this, then they can't now enforce the regulation on a single homeowner for something they have allowed for many. At least not in my state.

Anonymous said...

Way up here in Montana we certainly side with the Burr's and chastise the Garden Homeowners INC for even thinking such a traitorous act as making them remove the sign. We have here what are known as "Posse's" and the situation would not have gone as far.

dvgags said...

MAY GOD BLESS, THE BURRS AND THERE MARINE SON. FIRST OF ALL I HONOR YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE.PARENTS THAT SHOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE YOUR SON AND HOW PROUD OF HIM YOU ARE, THAT YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW OF YOUR SUPPORT FOR HIM AS WELL AS THE MARINE CORP,AMERICA,FREEDOM AND THE JOB HE HAS TAKEN ON TO DEFEND OUR WAY OF LIFE FOR GOD AND COUNTRY, ALL PUT IN A SIGN ON YOUR PROPERTY OUT OF LOVE.A PICTURE OF YOUR SON THAT YOU BOTH LOVE,HOW SAD FOR THE HOA TO EVEN QUESTION THIS BANNER.WHOM EVER IS THE PERSON OR PERSONS THAT NEED POWER THIS IS WHAT YOU GO AFTER A MARINE'S PICTURE ON A BANNER ON HIS PARENT'S PROPERTY.THERE IS NO HARM IN THIS AT ALL.WE ALL NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS A PEOPLE AND STOP THE DUMB SHIT, LIKE THIS.PROUD PARENT'S OUT OF LOVE FOR THERE MARINE SON,YOU SHOULD BE SO ASHAMED OF YOUR ACTIONS.NO HARM HAS BEEN DONE TO YOUR HOA.REMEMBER GOD IS WATCHING US ALL.MAKE THE RIGHT MOVE ON YOUR PART.BE AMERICAN,BE HUMAN,ITS A BANNER OF LOVE FOR THERE MARINE SON AND FOR THERE COUNTRY.THEY ARE PROUD PARENTS.... THAT LOVE THERE SON.
DAVID VINCENT GAGRIC
VET.US ARMY
LETS ALL COME TOGETHER AS ONE.
GOD IS WATCHING
LETS SHOW SOME LOVE.