Home › Forums › Where I Stand › Board VP Uses Comment Time to Attack › Reply To: Board VP Uses Comment Time to Attack
I am an advocate of free speech, and I have supported Rana Goodman regarding her free speech. However, there are limits to what a homeowner can say about others at a HOA. The limitations are imposed by the federal government (in 20 CFR part 100), state and local governments (in ordinances and in NRS 116), and also with SCA’s CC&Rs and its Anti-Harassment Policies.
ROT IN HELL COMMENTS
There has been some discussion whether one must consider the context when an owner tells a SCA manager the following:
- “May you rot in hell”
- “Perhaps the next virus has your name on it. One can only hope.”
- “You are all intellectually dishonest and morally corrupt.”
- “It is you Doris with your two-faced approach”
- “Stupid is as Stupid does.”
- “Doris and James and the rest of the SCA clowns”
- “There are no consequences for the hired clowns who poorly serve our community.”
- “Karma is a bitch! Hopefully it shows up sooner rather than later.”
Speech similar to the above was considered by a Nevada Court of Appeals in the case of Pope v. Fellhauer, No. 74428 (Nev. March 21, 2019) (unpublished). A NV lawyer wrote about the Pope case at: https://www.tysonmendes.com/court-provides-additional-clarity-applying-nevadas-anti-slapp-statute/
The lesson from the Pope case is that one should not use derogatory speech or engage in name-calling against others at a HOA. In Pope, the Court said that they found it significant that Mr. Pope engaged in derogatory name-calling, saying:
“it is unclear how calling the Fellhauers ‘weird,’ ‘wack-jobs,’ ‘EXTREMELY MENTALLY UNSTABLE,’ ‘crazy,’ and ‘sick” conveyed anything other than ‘a single [person being] upset with the status quo.’… Thus, we cannot conclude that the derogatory remarks about his neighbors were directly related to an issue of public concern. Therefore, Mr. Pope’s statements were not protected speech . . .”
Readers in Rana’s blog can consider for themselves whether a court in NV would consider statements by a homeowner to an SCA employee that they are two-faced, dishonest, corrupt and stupid clowns, with the hope that they contract a potentially deadly virus and “rot in hell,” to be acceptable speech.
I live at SCA, but I am a lawyer who represents community associations in another state.