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Author Topic: ACT NOW OR BOW DOWN TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE SLCA  (Read 5059 times)
FIDEL
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« on: October 29, 2010, 02:37:45 PM »



DO YOU REALLY WISH TO DISASSOCIATE YOURSELF FROM THE SLCA.?

    The time has come for the attorney(s) for the rest of this community to submit an AMICUS BRIEF* on behalf of the residents of the Stillwater Estates Community, along with copies of your deeds, in order to indicate to the Supreme Court Judges that there are no provisions in any of our deeds which include the legal obligation to be a member of any corporation.

IF YOU ALL DO NOT ACT NOW!

YOU WILL BE SADDLED WITH A PERPETUAL OBLIGATION TO THE WHIM OF THE SLCA!

*An AMICUS BRIEF is submitted by one not a party to the lawsuit to aid the court in gaining the information it needs to make a proper decision, or to urge a particular result on behalf of the public.

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admin
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2010, 04:05:15 PM »

Hi Fidel,
If we find a property owner who resides out of state, can we file the AMICUS BRIEF in federal court?
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THE EXPERT
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010, 04:57:28 PM »

Admin,
On behalf of my buddy Fidel:

     Any property owner can be included in the AMICUS BRIEF to the PA Supreme Court, no matter which state you reside.  Any resident (citizen) of a State other than PA can start a "Diversity cause of action" in Federal Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Interstate racketeering under the Rico Act) against the association, and it's management agents.  Using the US Mail to extort  payment of unwarranted "membership dues" is pure interstate extortion, specially if they threaten to ruin your credit.

     Keep in mind that when you are billed for "maintenance fees" those funds must be spent on maintenance.  When you are billed "dues" or membership dues" under Not-for-Profit Corporate Law (NCL), the Board can legally spend those funds for anything that they chose to spend it on. By paying any bill designated "dues" or "membership dues," you have effectively agreed with the authority provided under NCL, that the association can spend your money at their own discretion.

     Mr. Ott, Attorney Alan Price Young, and the Board of Directors make the claim that we are a Planned Community under the Planned Communities Act.  By all means force them to behave like a Board that is bound by the Act, and compel Appletree Management to segregate all expenditures into separate categories as required under the Act.  As a non-member all that you are required by law to pay, is a proportionate (pro-rata) share of maintenance. You can tell Appletree, the Board of Directors and Mr. Young, to stick all other expenses where the sun don’t shine.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 05:03:19 PM by THE EXPERT » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2010, 10:51:44 PM »

Hi Expert,
I agree with you 100%.  I have researched many court decisions regarding property owners responsibility for road and recreation assessments derived from covenants that runs with the land.  In all cases the trial courts decided that a property owner is required to pay a proportionate amount of the road and recreation assessments.  In my opinion, anyone paying what SLCA is asking is just being swindled.  

Last year they spent $15,000 on road repairs and $34,000 on snow plowing, so each owner should have paid about $50. They spent over $100,000.00 in legal fees.  In my opinion, every property owner should not pay another dime until the Board shows you all receipts of where your money goes, then pay only your share. I don't think anyone should have to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars they illegally chose to spend on legal fees trying to protect their own a-s.  I also think the board members who voted for morgaging the common areas should be responsible for repaying the loan.  

Stillwater Lakes Community Activists

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FIDEL
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 01:48:14 PM »

To out of state owners here's how it works:

   Filing a lawsuit in federal court can give you certain protections that a state court cannot give you. Certain localities are governed by the local culture, which in many cases will over look the law and rule based on local believes. This is particularly true in small towns where judges could be biased over certain issues. Federal court, however, comes with an array of legal challenges you should be aware of before you file. Your lawsuit must have legal sufficiency so it can be heard on the merits. Make sure your claim is related to a question of federal law. To file a lawsuit in federal court, the underlying claim must be directly related to an issue protected by the United States constitution, federal law, a treaty, or a federal act. For example, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) protects against corporations and groups from engaging in schemes to defraud. RICO claims can be brought by the government (criminally), but they can also be brought by civil plaintiffs against such organizations. RICO claims are coded in federal law (18 U.S.C. 1961) and, therefore, they can be heard in federal court.
   Make sure that if your claim is not related to a federal question, then it is a claim that fulfills the two requirements of diversity of citizenship (this step and step 3 below). If you want to file a lawsuit in federal court but no federal law is involved (often occurs when two parties disagree over an issue, like a contract or negligence claim), then there must be diversity of citizenship. Diversity of citizenship means that "no plaintiff can be from the same state as ANY defendant." This sounds confusing but it is not. Just remember, two plaintiffs can be from the same states. Two defendants can be from the same state. However, no plaintiff can be from the same state as any defendant. If they are, the court is said to lack subject matter jurisdiction, which would leave the court without power to hear your case.
     Your claim must exceed $75,000
 
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 01:51:22 PM by FIDEL » Logged
Spitfire
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 10:02:06 PM »

If you want to truly educate yourself  as a homeowner within a planned community, here's a good start.

(and this would include you too Mr. OTT of Appletree Management Group AMG, as you insist on standing your ground with this "Mandatory Membership" crap)
Please educate yourselves as the only ground the board, attorney's and management stand on is a pile of crumbled Oreo cookies on an off brand paper towel soaked in milk.

http://www.caionline.org/events/managers/pmdp/M100%20Readings%20and%20Samples/Chapter%201.pdf

General Hierarchy of Authority for Governing Documents

The general hierarchy of authority for governing documents is a loose one because not
all documents address all issues involved in operating a community association.
For operating a community association, the general hierarchy of authority among governing
documents consists of:

  • Recorded map, plat, or plan (to show the precise location of units, lots, and/or
    common area)

  • Declaration, CC&Rs, master deed, proprietary lease, or occupancy agreement
    (Note that the master deed, proprietary lease, and occupancy agreement apply
    only to cooperatives.)

  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)*

  • Bylaws

  • Board resolutions

* The bylaws and board resolutions must be consistent with the articles of incorporation.
Generally, the declaration would control if there is a conflict with any of the other documents.
Resolving such a conflict will depend on the specific facts and legal issues involved.

Now here is what the majority of the CCR's in this community state,
"15. The purchase and ownership of subject lot does not convey or confer upon the PURCHASER any right, title or interest in and on the lake or lakes, stream or streams, swimming pools, or ponds, community facility buildings, club house, ski-runs and other types of community facilities and improvements, whether for recreational use or not or any right, titles or interest for PURCHASER to use, occupy and enjoy said facilities, improvements, lake or lakes, stream or streams, swimming pool or ponds, club house, ski-runs, etc., except that the PURCHASER has the right to join SELLERS’ club when same is formed and  use aforesaid facilities, and until same is formed has the right to use the aforesaid facilities, provided that PURCHASER pays SELLER all recreation and road maintenance charges when due and complies with all rules and regulations of club when formed."

...and here is what the by-laws of SLCA state,
"Section B. Membership
    Every record owner of a lot within the community known as Stillwater Lakes, situated in Pocono Summit, Monroe County, Pennsylvania (the "Community"), shall be a member in the Association.
    All members shall be bound by the covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, Rules and Regulations, Articles of Incorporation, and Bylaws of the Association and/or Community (all of which, as may be amended from time to time, are specifically incorporated herein by reference and, shall be referred to individually and/or Collectively as the "Community Documents".)"


Come back soon for part 2 in which we will reveal the legalities concerning who can actually even be a board member of this SLCA.

...you'll be surprised to find how many of the current 7 board members don't even qualify.

Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 10:07:37 PM by Spitfire » Logged
puchichis
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 12:07:27 AM »

We are going to enjoy this!
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David
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2010, 09:16:53 AM »

If you want to truly educate yourself  as a homeowner within a planned community, here's a good start.

(and this would include you too Mr. OTT of Appletree Management Group AMG, as you insist on standing your ground with this "Mandatory Membership" crap)
Please educate yourselves as the only ground the board, attorney's and management stand on is a pile of crumbled Oreo cookies on an off brand paper towel soaked in milk.

http://www.caionline.org/events/managers/pmdp/M100%20Readings%20and%20Samples/Chapter%201.pdf

General Hierarchy of Authority for Governing Documents

The general hierarchy of authority for governing documents is a loose one because not
all documents address all issues involved in operating a community association.
For operating a community association, the general hierarchy of authority among governing
documents consists of:

  • Recorded map, plat, or plan (to show the precise location of units, lots, and/or
    common area)

  • Declaration, CC&Rs, master deed, proprietary lease, or occupancy agreement
    (Note that the master deed, proprietary lease, and occupancy agreement apply
    only to cooperatives.)

  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)*

  • Bylaws

  • Board resolutions

* The bylaws and board resolutions must be consistent with the articles of incorporation.
Generally, the declaration would control if there is a conflict with any of the other documents.
Resolving such a conflict will depend on the specific facts and legal issues involved.

Now here is what the majority of the CCR's in this community state,
"15. The purchase and ownership of subject lot does not convey or confer upon the PURCHASER any right, title or interest in and on the lake or lakes, stream or streams, swimming pools, or ponds, community facility buildings, club house, ski-runs and other types of community facilities and improvements, whether for recreational use or not or any right, titles or interest for PURCHASER to use, occupy and enjoy said facilities, improvements, lake or lakes, stream or streams, swimming pool or ponds, club house, ski-runs, etc., except that the PURCHASER has the right to join SELLERS’ club when same is formed and  use aforesaid facilities, and until same is formed has the right to use the aforesaid facilities, provided that PURCHASER pays SELLER all recreation and road maintenance charges when due and complies with all rules and regulations of club when formed."

...and here is what the by-laws of SLCA state,
"Section B. Membership
    Every record owner of a lot within the community known as Stillwater Lakes, situated in Pocono Summit, Monroe County, Pennsylvania (the "Community"), shall be a member in the Association.
    All members shall be bound by the covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, Rules and Regulations, Articles of Incorporation, and Bylaws of the Association and/or Community (all of which, as may be amended from time to time, are specifically incorporated herein by reference and, shall be referred to individually and/or Collectively as the "Community Documents".)"


Come back soon for part 2 in which we will reveal the legalities concerning who can actually even be a board member of this SLCA.

...you'll be surprised to find how many of the current 7 board members don't even qualify.

Stay tuned!

For those homeowners that may find some difficulty in comprehending the above, I'd like to highlight some key points:

CCR's (a.k.a Declarations) supersede the bylaws----That said-though the bylaws of SLCA State that you have to be a member, the CCR's are above and beyond the bylaws and give you the "Right" (choice) to join........."a Seller's Club", which I might add---Has NEVER BEEN FORMED!!!!!

"Seller's club" and "Association" are two different animals.

Note: There are some declarations that do exist out there that replaced "Seller's Club" with "Association".
Ironically, the powers that be or were, at the time, still wrote them in a way that STILL gives homeowners in this community the "Right" (choice) to join the "Association".
Check your own CCR's for wording specific to your property.
FYI...if you do not possess an original copy of your CCR's, you can easily acquire one down in the municipal court in Stroudsburg for .25 cents a copy. (Usually 1 or 2 pages.
While your down there, you may also want to get a copy of each of the board member's CCR's as well.
At the very least, it will show intent on their parts, as they all know beyond a reasonable doubt, that it is NOT mandatory to be a member of this association.

Now for those of you homeowners that are taking the advance "Homeowner Education" class; here's some homework for you.

Look up the following case: Fogarty v. Hemlock Farms Community Association

...are we having fun yet class?  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2010, 12:57:50 AM »

Hi David,
Thanks for your post.  The main focus of this website is to inform and educate property owners that live in Stillwater Lakes and Stillwater Lake Estates regarding their rights. We make the governing documents available on this website for those property owners who want to exercise their rights and who wish to stop being victims of SLCA, Young and Haros, and Jim Ott of Appletree Management Group AMG. We also make these documents available for property owners who choose not to join the Association to use in court if the Association tries to make them pay for anything other than their proportionate share of common area maintenance. They can be downloaded at:

•Recorded map, plat, or plan  (to show the precise location of units, lots, and/or
common area)
Declaration, CC&Rs, master deed, proprietary lease, or occupancy agreement
(Note that the master deed, proprietary lease, and occupancy agreement apply
only to cooperatives.)

Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)


« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 01:00:02 AM by admin » Logged
Spitfire
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2010, 09:41:44 AM »

 Here's where you really have to pay attention class! ;-)

Let's first review what we've learned so far:

Hierarchy (order) of authority of governing documents is as follows:

1. Recorded map, plat, or plan (to show the precise location of units, lots, and/or common area)

2. Declaration, CC&Rs, master deed, proprietary lease, or occupancy agreement

3. Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)*

4. Bylaws

5. Board resolutions

6. Rules according to the King (Kluge) Though we should all be confident to say, "Ron, you're NOT the boss of me!"


1. Starting with the top of authority "Recorded" Recorded map, plat or plan...and I'm not referring to the "Tourist version" they hand out at the club house. I'm referring to the "Recorded" one in the court house back in '74.
If you look closely...very closely at the Recorded map for "Stillwater Lakes", you will notice that it ONLY shows two(2) sections that fall under "Stillwater Lakes". Those would be, Section H-IV and Section K. Both towards the farthest part of the community adjacent to Rt. 380. In other words, these two sections are the ONLY sections within the community that by way of "Recorded" at court house, are the ONLY sections known as Stillwater Lakes. The rest of the community is STILL..."Stillwater Estates", and that is why you will notice court documents specifically referring to us as "Stillwater Estates", though everyone has come to know us as "Civic" and the OTHER side of 380 as Estates.

2. As mentioned previously, there is a variation of CCR's that states PURCHASER has the "Right" (CHOICE) to join Association.

3. Under "Articles of Incorporation", which were filed February 25, 1976, Stillwater Lakes Civic Association has "Jurisdiction" over...See 1. above...."Stillwater Lakes", which according to "Recorded" map, is ONLY, ONLY, ONLY section H-IV and K.

4. Now comes the by-laws, which mean something ONLY if you have exercised your "Right" to become a member of the Association, according to 2. above, but for purposes of laying out the FACTS here; allow me to take you to the specific section within the bylaws that states who is "ELIGIBLE" to even be on the board of directors.

"Article III, Section B. Eligibility
A Director shall be a record owner of a lot within the community subject to the Jurisdiction of the Association"
That said, "Are any one of the current board members a record owner of a lot within section H-IV or K?" Answer is NO!

5. Hmmm, now comes "Board Resolutions". According to 4. above, none of the current board members above can even legally serve as directors, so board resolutions would be deemed null and void.

...but what about all those signatures on documents such as mortgages, and checks, and major decisions made by the current "ineligible" board members?

Stay tuned for (Part 3) Grin
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 04:19:21 PM by Spitfire » Logged
puchichis
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2010, 01:17:50 AM »

Keep it comming.
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David
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 02:02:11 PM »

Part 3 is in the oven, but in the mean time, here's an appetizer...

Seems like lately we've been missing the presence of one of the board attorneys. Ironic that the one "absentee" attorney, you know, the "Young" one, is the one that really truly knows his stuff when it comes to all this "Governing Documents" issues. It's almost as if he wrote the stuff himself.

Speaking of stuff Attorney Alan Price Young wrote...

"As we have cautioned your Board, there may be substantial adverse consequences to individual directors and to the Association for any board member's failure to meet the legal standards of due care and to comply with the requirements of loyalty and honesty as fiduciaries of the Association.
These are very serious matters."  
(young, 1995)
http://www.stillwaterlakes.net/pdf/YoungLetter.pdf

The new question to ask...has "Young" left the building? ...and if so, would the remaining attorney eventually write his own letter similar to Young's, as according to the Rules of professional conduct, he should know that the board and managements current actions of standing their ground on this mandatory membership has absolutely no basis, as the Governing Documents speak scream louder than words?

Stay tuned...

« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 02:03:55 PM by David » Logged

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David
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 10:39:12 AM »

Folks, in case you're still not convinced, here's a little more from an actual attorney...
Though the letter was written specifically for Lake Naomi, the order of legal priority remains the same for all communities.


"Community associations and their members are governed by an interrelated hierarchy of legal authority.  In order of legal priority, the relevant sources of rights and duties for your Association are the UPCA, the Declaration of Covenants, Restrictions and Easements for Lake Naomi (the “Declaration”) the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988, 15 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101, et seq., (the “NCL”), the Association’s Articles of Incorporation (the “Articles”), its Bylaws, and its Rules and Regulations."

http://lakenaomiforum.com/documents/PPCALawyerLetter.htm

Food for thought...
If you are an attorney representing a murderer who tells you the murder weapon is hidden in his attic, you have an ethical and legal obligation NOT to tell anyone; however, if same client tells you he intends on killing a few more folks with same weapon hidden in attic, then your ethical/legal obligation as well as duty is to report your client to the proper authorities.

Now...if you are an attorney representing a community Association, and you have the slightest inclination that your client is committing a crime such as defrauding homeowners into thinking they are obligated to be members of said association, though YOU CLEARLY KNOW what the CC&R's state in that respect, then...(you get the picture)

Something tells me that eventually one will run for the hills, as he's done in the past to protect his reputation, while the other remains as the....let's just say, "Baaahahhhahhhahaaa"

Open your eyes "Nichy-Goat"!  Ralston did!
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 03:19:43 AM »

Hi David,
You are 100% right about the authority of governing documents, except that you are leaving out the fact that this development is an old community that predates the Uniform Planned Communities Act.  This means that where our governing documents are not silent, thay are superior and over rule the UPCA.  For example, where the UPCA says every unit owner is a member of the Association, does not apply to our situation because our declarations say we have the right to join the Association if we choose to enjoy their emmenities (which are none). 

Also I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah.

http://www.youtube.com/v/qSJCSR4MuhU
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