An Idea For Amy Vickers

You remember the victim of Homewood’s Garden Nazis? Well, if she loses in court, she could always try this guy’s methods:

A Wallsboro man who sat perched on a 68-foot radio tower behind his home for a week to protest being forced to join a newly formed homeowners association has ended his weeklong demonstration.

Wayne Spires climbed down about 1 p.m. Monday after receiving news that Circuit Judge John Bush is still researching his case.  

The River Falls Homeowners Association sued Spires, Edward Abernathy Jr., Sherri Mummey, Johnny Bass and Christopher Scott for refusing to join and pay a $1,500 road maintenance fee assessed by the association.

“Some people paid and they didn’t want to,” Spires said. “They were forced to because they didn’t want to lose their home.”

Seriously, I made A’s in Contracts (Prof. Bishop) and Property (Prof. Langham – my all time favorite class, that dude was hilarious), but I can not figure out how a homeowners association formed after the affected parties bought the homes can compel any current homeowner to join or to pay fees for anything. Anyone out there more familiar with dirt law have any ideas? What is the basis for the association’s claim?

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6 Comments on “An Idea For Amy Vickers”

  1. Frank Says:

    Membership in a homeowners association is ostensibly voluntary. You do not buy into the community if you do not want to join. I do not see how anyone can force existing property owners to join such a group — and that is based on 20 years experience in land use issues.

  2. walt moffett Says:

    Better story at the montgomery advertiser

    Money quote from Mr Spires:
    “When I moved here I agreed to become a member of a landowners’ association which included sharing the cost of maintaining the roads,” said Spires, 61 years old, in a prepared statement. “However, I did not agree to become a member of a homeowners association and all the restrictions that go along with it. My bond for title says I am to be a member of a landowners’ association — not a homeowners’ association.”

    URL: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007701100302

    I gather the land owners association which he joined morphed into a homeowners association and the rest is all lawyering from there.

  3. wheeler Says:

    that explains it.

  4. chris Says:

    There is another twist to this story I was told second hand. Mr. Spires bought the home on a bond for title (contract to pay money and receive title after the money is paid). My understanding is that Mr. Spires was paying on the contract and the actual owner of the property then had that land included in the area covenants including the association (land owners or homeowners I’m not sure which.) In effect he didn’t own the land (no deed) until the payments were made.

  5. wheeler Says:

    chris,

    if that’s the case, i’m betting on mr. spires to win his suit. i think that although mr. spires did not actually possess the title, because he was in the process of obtaining the title, a court would call him the “equitable owner” and view the guy who actually had the title as holding the title in an equitable (or constructive?) trust. as a trustee, he would be forbidden from encumbering the title with something like membership in an association unless the equitable owner – mr. spires – also consented.

    but its been a while since i took property, so i could be wrong.

  6. chris Says:

    I agree if my facts are correct. Judge Bush should do a good job on this issue.


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