Homeowners Beware of What You Publish About Your HOA or Condo!

I receive a lot of emails from all over the country about goings on. Here is one story that you won’t want to ignore, which is taken from a Press Release issued by the owner of the property.

“PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gatlinburg, Tennessee Home Owners Association Files $1 Million Lawsuit
Against Blog Author and Property Owner

A Tennessee Home Owners Association has filed a $1 million lawsuit against one of its property owners for defamation, libel, slander, and false light invasion of privacy. The property owner, Robert Goodman, has operated a blog that has heavily criticized the actions of the HOA’s general manager and board of directors for alleged violations of both its own HOA controlling documents and Tennessee state law. The HOA board has filed the lawsuit in an attempt to force virtually all content to be removed from the blog and prevent any new entries.”

The blog is at www.DeerRidgeOwners.com. I provide this information and not because I have any specific information take on which side is right or wrong, but merely as straight up information of a possible “worst case scenario” to consider illustrating what can happen when an owner speaks out in a derogatory way publicly about his or her association or board, especially in a way that can reach millions of people. Use of the internet communication systems as a mean of lambasting any party can escalate any differences and damages in any lawsuit that might occur.

I have not visited the blog, but it seems it might serve as a model of what-not-to-do if you don’t want to get sued.

And I wish to state that there are many ways in California to approach your board or for the board to approach owners about association issues short of public flogging (by either side).

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