Updated June 8, 2003


This page contains a list of important resources for homeowner rights advocates, including internet sites and email lists; books on HOAs as private governments; and court cases.


Email lists and web sites


American Homeowners Resource Center (AHRC)            



Citizens Against Private Government HOAs, Inc




Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc



Consumers for Housing Choice



HOA Network




Homeowner Associations - advocacy



Homeowners Associations: A Dream or A Nightmare Come True by  Joni Greenwalt



On The Commons - live radio talk on the Internet (email for current HOA schedule) onthecommons@cox.net



Book References

 Buyers Guide to Living in a Community Association, George K. Staropoli, ed, Citizens Against Private Government HOAs, 2002


Common Interest Communities: Private Governments and the Public Interest , Barton & Silverman, eds, Institute of Governmental Studies Press, Univ of California, Berkeley, 1994

Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing , Donald R. Stabile, Greenwood Press, 2000

"The Constitution and Private Government: Toward the Recognition of Constitutional Rights in Private Residential Communities Fifty Years After Marsh v. Alabama," Steven Siegel, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 461 (1998) Volume 6, Issue 2, Spring 1998, pages 461-563.


Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States , Blakely & Synder, Brookings Institute, 1999

Neighborhood Politics: Residential Community Associations in American Governance , Robert J. Dilger, New York University Press, 1992


Privatopia: Homeowners Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government , Dr. Evan McKenzie , Yale University Press, 1994




Court Cases

Villa Milano Homeowners Assn. v. Il Davorge (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 819, 826
The California Court of Appeal ruled CID CC&RS are contracts.

Lee v. Katz, Case #: 00-35755 Citation: 2002 DJDAR 373 US 9th Court of Appeals,1/10/02

State action may be found when private individuals or groups are endowed with governmental powers or functions because they in turn become state agencies or instrumentality's


Surfside 84 Condominium Council of Unit Owners v. Mullen, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, No. 495 (Sept 1984)(not reported)
Found that lien procedure of statute (of 1984) constitutes state action and that procedural due process violations occured since statute did  not require proper notice and hearing.


Golden Sands Club Condominium, Inc v. Harry Waller, 545 A.2d 1332 (1988) Court of Appeals of Maryland
Questions of due process with respect to notice and a hearing relating to condo liens

Brentwood Academy v. Tennesee School Atheletic Association et al, case no 99-901, US SC we have found a private organization's acts to constitute state action only when the organization performed a public function; was created, coerced, or encouraged by the government.

Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., Inc, 457 US 922 (1982)  --  Case concerns relationship  between state actors and violations of 14th Amendment; "color of  law" remedies for violation of constitutional rights per 42 USC sect. 1983

Shelly v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948),  --  concern state actions in regard to judicial actions that enforce certain restrictive covenants of the CC&RS that create homeowner associations.

Commonwealth of Virginia v. Rives, 1880, 100 U.S. 313, 318  -  that a State may act through different agencies, -either by its legislative, its executive, or its judicial authorities; and the prohibitions of the amendment [14th Amendment] extend to all action of the State denying equal protection of the laws

Pardee Construction Company v. Ivan Ernesto Rodirguiz et al, Super. Ct. No. GIC769966) The Superior Court of San Diego County, D039273

Issues on unconscionable contracts, adhesion contracts and good public policy (not directly involving HOA)

James Foley v. Osborne Court Condominium et al. 97-522-Appeal. 724 A.2d 436; 1999 R.I.
RI Supreme Court  remanded this case to the Superior Court for findings on whether the plaintiffs constitutional rights in this case were violated by the provisions of the 1982 Condominium Act that authorize a condominium association to foreclose on property without the necessity of a judicial proceeding.

Unit Owners Assoc v, Gillman 223 VA 752 (1982)

whereby the Virginia Supreme Court held that the power to fine is a governmental power


Villa De Las Palmas Homeowners Association v. Paula Terifaj 2002 DJDAR 11230

We affirm the judgment in its entirety, finding that the restrictions contained in the amended declaration constitute enforceable equitable servitudes that are presumptively reasonable under Civil Code section 1354

Ironwood Owners Ass'n IX v. Solomon, 178 Cal. App. 3d 766, 772, 224 Cal. Rptr. 18 (1986):

When a homeowners' association seeks to enforce the provisions of its CCRs to compel an act by one of its member owners, it is incumbent upon it to show that it has followed its own standards and procedures prior to pursuing such a remedy, that those procedures were fair and reasonable and that its substantive
decision was made in good faith, and is reasonable, not arbitrary or capricious."

Cohen v. Kite Hill Community Ass'n, 142 Cal. App. 3d 642, 651, 191 Cal. Rptr. 209 (1983)

The business and governmental aspects of the association and the association's relationship to its members clearly give rise to a special sense of responsibility upon the officers and directors.. This special responsibility is manifested in the requirements of fiduciary duties and the requirements of due process, equal protection, and fair dealing.'" 

Arizona Cases --

Duffy v. Sunburst Farms East Mutual Water &Agricultural Co., Inc 124 Ariz 413, 604 P 2d 1124 (1979)

Words in the CC&Rs to be taken as to their common everyday meanings

Caron v. Maxwell, 48 F. Supp. 2d 932 (D. Ariz. 1999)

 A homeowner sued under the FDCPA, alleging that the HOA's lawyer was a debt collector

Ahwatukee Custome Estates Management Assn, Inc v. Bach, 196Ariz 631, 633-634, 2 P 3d, 1276, 1278-79 (Ariz App Div 1 2000) and Arizona Biltmore Estates Assn v. Tezak, 177 Ariz 447, 448, 868 P 2d 1030, 1031 (1993)
CC&Rs and bylaws as binding contract between the association and the individual homeowner

Patricia Gfeller and Richaed Gfeller v. The Scottsdale Vista North Townhomes Association, 1 CA-CV 98-0010, Court of Appeals State of Arizona, Division One 

We reverse the trial court's declaratory judgment in favor of the Association. We find that the CC&Rs impose an affirmative duty upon the Association to enforce the drainage requirements of the CC&Rs, which duty is not negated by provisions that permit the Association to select among alternative methods of enforcement.

Bryceland v. Northey, 160 Ariz. 213, 215, 772 P.2d 36, 38 (App. 1989).

We interpret written CC&Rs de novo where, as here, there is no extrinsic evidence of the drafter's intent.


Hamberlin v.Townsend, 76 Ariz. 191, 196, 261 P.2d 1003, 1006 (1953)

We will, if possible, interpret a contract in such a way as to reconcile and give meaning to all of its terms, if reconciliation can be accomplished by any reasonable interpretation.


Mcloughlin v Pima County, 2 CA-VA 2001-0198, Arizona Appeals Court

In a case relating to the constitutionality of zoning ordinances, the court states the restrictions on delegating legislative powers and obligations.



 substantive unconscionability refers to the actual terms of the contract, such as: one-sided terms that tend to oppress or unfairly surprise an innocent party; an overall imbalance in the obligations and rights imposed by the bargain. The court held that only substantive unconscionability must be shown.

Broemmer v. Abortion Services of Phoenix, Ltd., 840 P.2d 1013 (1992).

 the Arizona Supreme Court defined an adhesion contract as one which is a standardized form offered on a "take it or leave it" basis without the opportunity to bargain. (This case is highly referenced in other court cases across America and is used as a textbook case in many law schools.)



Other cases can be found at the AHRC web site: