Joanne Lawlor

I have owned my home in my association for 25 years. Our board has had many, many board members who are bullies – agitators – and uneducated in the State – City & Government Laws that govern our community. I have served on the board twice – and resigned twice and even obtained Homeowner’s Insurance from State Farm with regard to the possibility of our Board being sued.

In 2014 a Resolution was drawn up by the board attorney – no open meeting and no homeowner was allowed to discuss or review this resolution with the board. After receiving $6,500 if fees and fines with regard to this 2014 Resolution – My board took me to small claims court – My disabled sister who lives next to me had filed a suit prior to the small claims case against me. I joined her in her law suit at that time. The attorney we chose (and there are many out there for HOA homeowners) was sactioned by the State Bar of AZ in 2015. He is now being review again as he has many, many valid legal complaints against him.

We lost our case do to the fact our attorney failed to show up in court nor did he give the Superior Court any documents that pertained to our case. Upon losing the case – we sought and obtained another attorney that would either appeal the Superior Courts decision or we would try to obtain a reasonable settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement seemed to be the way for my sister and I due to lack of litigation funds. We worked out a settlement agreement – paid the board their legal fees and they were to rescind the 2014 Resolution. They failed to rescind it. They again with their attorney, tried to control the community by calling th 2014 Resolution a NEW RULE . I made a records request and then the board attorney stated there was no “NEW RULE” but a “Informal Policy”.

All written exactly as the 2014 Resolution. I then went to he Board at the November Board Meeting and they stated it was a 20 year old “Architectural Guideline”. I stated whatever you want to call it you are in violation of the “Settlement Agreement” and you need to remove any written documentation that pertains to the “rescinded resolution”. I was shouted at – told I didn’t know what I was taking about etc., I stated I would seek legal advise.

I have written the Superior Court Judge – the law firm that represented our board in litigation – the board attorney – my attorney – State Senator David Farnsworth who has developed a group of Arizona residence with regard to HOA reform and two local advocate groups that also work for HOA reform. I requested financials and got basic information.

When the board was not forthcoming with the legal requirement to have be obtain what I requested I asked for the help of John Sellers/ArizonaHomeowner’s Reform. He became my representative – he asked the board attorney to follow the State Statues – they denied him access. He gave them until the end of the day on Wednesday November 30, 2016. I received a call from our board treasurer and they sent to John Sellers all financial documents and access codes to all the boards financial records on November 30th.

The law suit cost my sister and I $18,000 in legal fees we could not afford. I am disabled – low income and she is also disabled and a widow on a set income. We have filed with the State Bar of Arizona for compensation for the attorney who legally misused his position – he will most like lose his license to practice in the State of Arizona. We are petitioning that he does. The dispute with regard to the Rescinded Resolution is ongoing. I have not heard back for the Board Attorney. My attorney is waiting to see what happens next. My attorney is also working with Senator Farnsworth with regard to new bills/HOA reform. I am applying to be a Citizen Lobbyist.

Joanne Lawlor

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