Do Condo Unit Owners Have First Amendment Rights in Illinois?

The answer to the above question about condominium unit owners’ first amendment rights is absolutely yes. Section 18.4 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act provides that no rule or regulation may impair the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or Section 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois […]

Free Speech vs. House Rules: Balancing Both in Contentious Times (NJ)

The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and expression – but how does that right apply to the residents of multifamily co-op or condo buildings? Does it apply at all? Can you – or the guy down the hall in 2B – display political, social, or religious statements from […]

Arizona Statutes Protect Homeowners’ Rights to Assemble

Recent amendments to the Arizona Condominium Act and the Arizona Planned Community Act provide important protections to property owners who wish to assemble and use to common areas of the community for meetings.   Read the article………………………..

But My Constitutional Rights?! (VA)

Among the criticisms often levied at community associations is a claim that boards of directors cannot infringe on residents’ Constitutional rights. With Bill of Rights Day being celebrated on December 15th, marking the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution in 1791, now is a timely opportunity to […]

Can you Agree to Waive your First Amendment Rights?

Marshall Spiegel, the Unit Owner, had been in constant litigation with his Association for over 20 years regarding various matters surrounding the operation and maintenance of the common areas. One of these lawsuits sought to establish set dates in which the community pool was to remain open, among other things.   Read the article………………………..

Whose Yard is it Anyway? (CA)

For individuals residing in common interest developments, the constitutional right to free speech is not applicable. While many believe that they have a right to freely express themselves by posting signs, banners, flags, and religious symbols on their own properties, they may be surprised to learn that their homeowners and condominium associations are not bound […]

Free Speech in an Association (CO)

Freedom of speech is the right to state one’s opinions or ideas without suffering punishment or censorship from the government. It is important to remember that associations are not the government; therefore, while many homeowners wish to express their opinions, political or otherwise, through signs, flags, and banners, associations have the absolute right (with a […]

The Legal Rights of an HOA Homeowner

A volunteer board member strives to do their best by the community as a whole and for individual homeowners, and doing so successfully involves understanding the rights of HOA members, both those outlined in the governing documents of the community and those included in state and federal law.  This can be easier said than done, […]

Condo World: Freedom of speech and political signs in condominiums (NH)

Let me start with a clear, unequivocal statement. Owners in community associations, be they part of a condominium association or a homeowners association, do not have freedom of speech. Every arm chair constitutionalist will disagree, but it’s true.    Read the article…………………………………

Freedom of speech at issue in today’s Clipper Mill court hearing (MD)

Do Marylanders have a right to free speech? Not if they live in a community controlled by Larry E. Jennings and publicly criticize his plans, the developer argues in a $25 million lawsuit against residents of Clipper Mill.  Now those residents are fighting back in Baltimore Circuit Court, asking for Jennings’ lawsuit to be dismissed […]

Appeals Court Deems Association Street a First Amendment Public Forum (TN)

Disputes between individuals and HOAs frequently occur on the roads or sidewalks owned by the Association. The rights of way are usually the HOA’s largest budgetary and operational responsibility. The lot owners and their invitees rely upon the roads to access properties. State and local governments benefit financially by shifting the maintenance burden of the […]

Who controls campaign signs at the Ridge? (WA)

Political campaign signs at Snoqualmie Ridge have been getting extra focus lately.  Several candidates for city council received emails from the Snoqualmie Ridge Residential Owners’ Association (ROA) stating their staked political signs were in violation of ROA policy and needed to be taken down or that the ROA would remove them.  Read the article……………………..

Complaints Over Trump Flags In Fourth Of July Parade Sparks First Amendment Debate In Gated Community (CA)

The Rancho Murieta Association’s Board of Directors is considering banning political signs at future Fourth of July parades following complaints of some parade-goers displaying the Trump 2020 flags at this year’s parade.  Rancho Murieta mother Elizabeth Wilder says her daughter was targeted for displaying Trump’s name during the parade.  “She was booed in the parade […]

Owners Can Record Meetings; Free Speech Rights Unclear (FL)

Q: I recently agreed to serve on the board of my condominium association. There is one owner who comes to many of the board meetings and sits in the front row with his phone device pointed at the head table. I assume he is recording the meetings, which I understand he has the right to […]

Freedom in Associations: Exercising Free-Speech Rights in an HOA

Freedom of speech is perhaps the most cherished and most important protection provided by the United States Constitution. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention viewed citizens’ right to speak their minds without fear of government retribution as so important that “freedom of speech” is enshrined in the very First Amendment of the Constitution. Indeed, many […]

Some rules restricting speech legal in condos and HOAs (FL)

Dear Poliakoffs, The board of directors in my community told me they will fine me since I copied their email to the other 12 owners. I told them under the Constitution we have freedom of speech, but they keep fining me. Is this legal?   Read the Q&A…………………..

Residents of Detroit Suburb Fight Anti-Canvassing Law (MI)

Political activists filed a First Amendment lawsuit Monday challenging “No Canvassing” signs in a Detroit suburb.  Michigan Liberation, a nonprofit organization seeking “to end mass incarceration,” and three individual plaintiffs sued the city of Wixom and the Loon Lake Woods Wixom Homeowners’ Association.  Read the article……………………

Political Signs and Free Speech (OH)

With election season upon us, the topic of political signs is bound to come up at your association. This time of year, political signs start popping up in the yards on individual lots and on common and limited common elements as well as in owner’s windows.  Many homeowner and condominium associations have deed restrictions on […]

State supreme court will not hear case of unit owner fined for expressing opinions (IL)

The Supreme Court of Illinois will not consider the case of a unit owner fined for expressing opinions about his condo board.  Michael Boucher successfully sued 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association and seven of its board members after they imposed a $500 fine against him for allegedly violating condo rules that prohibit “obnoxious or offensive […]

HOA Homefront: Is an HOA now a free speech zone? (CA)

Dear Kelly: I have a question regarding the new state law supporting use of common facilities for political activities, and one on First Amendment rights. The new law allows residents to use common facilities for political meetings without charge. May the HOA limit attendance to only residents, residents and guests, according to its adopted policies, […]

Freedom of Speech and Disruptive Owners

Social media, blogs, and websites are the new normal of daily living in 2018. People post their thoughts, pictures and videos with the swipe of their phone sometimes without regard to accuracy or repercussions. This is a problem in communities where residents, managers, employees and others living and working in close proximity (no matter how […]

Newly Enacted Civil Code Section 4515 Seeks to Protect Political Speech and Peaceful Assembly at California Community Associations

Effective January 1, 2018, Civil Code Section 4515 was added to the Davis-Stirling Act to protect certain rights of political speech and peaceful assembly within the boundaries of a common interest development.  Senator Bob Wieckowski originally presented new Civil Code Section 4515 to California’s legislature as Senate Bill 407. Remarking on his proposed legislation, Senator […]

The Privacy Quandary: Balancing The Obligations Of Associations With The Rights Of Homeowners

Living in a home administered by a condominium association is a unique experience. There are significant benefits to association living, including the ability to defer decisions (and the execution thereof) regarding administration, insurance, repairs, maintenance and other usual owners’ obligations to a professional property manager or board of directors. Conversely, association living requires owners to […]

Resident constructs large sign in front yard to spite homeowner’s association (CO)

Disputes between a resident of northwest Loveland and his neighborhood’s homeowner’s association drove the property owner to erect a large sign in his front yard Tuesday warning potential home buyers of difficulties he has faced with the homeowner’s association.  Rich Stephens, a resident at 1110 Crabapple Drive in the Alford Meadows neighborhood near the intersection […]

Does the First Amendment Apply to Condominiums? (FL)

A common question asked by our clients is what can be done to stop unit owners from publishing false, negative, or harassing posts about the condominium association, its directors, members, or agents on internet mediums like Facebook or Nextdoor. The reality is that unless such posts constitute threats, defamation, or are criminal in nature, a […]

Resident Rights: Knowing Them, Upholding Them

To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence, all men and women are created equal with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That may not be the case if you live in a condominium, co-op, or HOA, however. Unlike a private home, living in a ‘common interest community’ represents a commitment to […]

Political Signs in HOA’s and Free Speech

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most vicious the US has seen. As a result, HOAs are struggling to decide between free speech or forbidding political signs. To learn more about HOAs, political signs and free speech, check out these three FAQs.    Read the article…………

Recent Preliminary Injunction re: HOA and Free Speech (CA)

On December 23, 2016, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer, Jr. issued a preliminary injunction barring Gramercy Towers Condominium Association (“GTCA”) from enforcing a “Rule Regarding Communications with the Board of Directors, Residents and Contractors” (the “Rule”) on the basis that it may chill protected speech. The Rule purports to bar homeowner’s association […]

Common Area Political Statement

The events of the past few days remind us how politically divided our country is on so many issues. It seems that in some cases opposing political parties disagree simply to be disagreeable. But in the United States it’s our right to express our views — heck, it’s part of what makes us Americans.  These […]

When House Rules Override the First Amendment

Condo residents ordered to remove “Hillary for President” sign from their window.  It happens every four years: signs and posters supporting presidential candidates sprout in New York City windows, on lawns, and outside apartment buildings. It’s a basic freedom of speech, right, to express your preference for a particular presidential hopeful?   Read the article…………….

Can Condo Associations Bar Political Signs in Common Areas?

A tiny political sign triggered a giant-sized dispute in a Colorado condominium, when the association manager said the sign violated an association rule governing common area displays and told the residents to remove it.  Read the article…………

Association limits campaign signs in common areas

Q: I am a candidate for the board of my condominium association. I made some campaign posters which I posted in the community center to announce my candidacy and to introduce myself to the owners. The association told me that I had to remove the posters. As a candidate for the board of my condominium […]

Does Your Homeowners Association Allow Political Yard Signs?

Americans are starting to gear up for the 2016 Presidential Election by showing their support volunteering at campaign locations, watching the latest debates, and posting political signs showing the support for their favorite candidates. This raises the issue of whether or not a homeowners association can restrict residents from posting political signs. Learn more in […]

Judges (NY) show homeowners association a sign: Back off

A local couple has been successful a second time in court, as a mid-level appeals court ruled last week that Hudson Pointe Homeowners Association has no authority to restrict posting of political signs in front of the couple’s property.     Read more……….

Free Speech and your Community Association: Will the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Dublirer v 2000 Linwood Avenue Owners, Inc impact campaigning in Michigan Condominium Association elections?

In Dublirer v 2000 Linwood Avenue Owners, Inc the New Jersey Supreme Court considered the issue of whether or not an owner in a cooperative had a right to distribute campaign materials in seeking election to the co-op’s board of directors. The Co-Op had a house rule that barred soliciting and distributing any written materials […]

I Can’t See the Forest for the Yard Signs

We are fifteen days from the 2014 midterm elections, and candidates are undoubtedly working hard to get those elusive swing voters to the polls. Yard signs are one tool that candidates use to build name recognition and sway votes. A multitude of signs for federal and state political offices, as well as several ballot initiatives, […]

Get that Sign Out of Here!

Your neighbor’s front yard sign supporting their favorite political candidate may be upsetting. But that alone is not a reason to spray paint over it, yell obscenities every time you see your neighbor leaving to go to work or for the association’s board or directors to demand the sign’s removal.       Read more……….

Homeowner Association Restrictions on Signage

In election years, political debates are not just limited to the candidates. Debates often arise within homeowner associations over restrictions on signage that may limit an owner’s ability to place signs within the community.   Read more………