In earlier blogs, I said I was going crazy and taking the Association Board with me but I might have spoken too rashly. Actually, I believe they are much farther down that road and that I may never catch up.

It all began when the president of my Association Board caused a ruckus and made me feel uncomfortable, if not unsafe, in my own home. I began to protest. I laced a poster on my sliding glass door, I made flyers, I posted flyers on the community bulletin board.

Then the strange stuff started happening. One day, a specific day, actually-the day of the secret walk-through, they came down. Walk-throughs are one of my pet peeves. You never know when they are coming, you just get a letter that says, "you have a trellis under your patio, please remove it." Why can't they announce when they're coming? Why can't we actually meet and greet them? And why can't they tell us what's wrong face-to-face?

And why can't we agree then and there to fix it? Is it just me, or does everyone cringe when they get a letter from an Association?

So I decided to give in to the feelings I'd been having for eight years. Namely, that the Association Board was too far out of touch. I put flyers up. They came down. I put them up again. Then I called the Association Manager. He said there might be confusion about the wording and people might think they're from the Association Board.

From Village Woods Fun Party

So I re-worded them. And they came down. I put them up again and amended them -- with the words from the First Amendment of the US Constitution. That paper was torn down. Then it was on.

From Village Woods Fun Party

I placed a note that said, "Do you realize that you've torn town the First Amendment, twice? Down it came. Then I put up a pen on a ribbon, some lined paper for people to comment and asked the ripper to comment. It came down too.

When I e-mailed the Association Manager, he replied that the board would look at the flyer and get board approval for it. I said, "I'm confused. I thought you said the board was NOT interested in what was put on the bulletin board and that the concern was that people would confuse my flyers for Association outreach. Are you saying the Board of Directors of the Association has jurisdictin over what gets placed on the buletin boards?"

He said, "Kevin, I don't totally understand what all the Board members think regarding the flyer, so best to run by all of them. Yes, the Board would have control over the bulletin board. Again, let's see what all the Board members think and I'll let you know. thanks,"

The board controls what is said on the bulletin board? And cares? And it's probably a board member or a designate ripping down the First Amendment?

Wow! I need help. Good think I won the Neighborhood Blog Contest last month. I think I'm gonna have to invest that $500.00 on my legal action.

Thanks San Diego Reader!

Comments

Kevin Six Jan. 27, 2011 @ 10:09 a.m.

Bulletin Board = Public Forum From a First Amendment law firm:

Although the California Supreme Court found that California's free speech right applies to speech in a privately owned shopping mall because the mall is the modern-day equivalent of the traditional town square, Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center, 23 Cal. 3d 899 (1979), subsequent cases have narrowed Robins' reach. In 2001, the California Supreme Court said that a tenants' association did not have the right to distribute unsolicited flyers throughout a privately owned apartment complex. Golden Gateway Ctr. v. Golden Gateway Tenants Ass'n, 26 Cal. 4th 1013, 1035 (2001). But even in that case, the court "emphasize[d] that [its] decision ... does not give apartment owners carte blanche to stifle tenant speech. Tenants may still have remedies under conventional property law principles. (See Lobsenz & Swanson, The Residential Tenant's Right to Freedom of Political Expression (1986) 10 U. Puget Sound L.Rev. 1, 45.) Moreover, many statutes and ordinances serve to protect tenants against unreasonable lease provisions and restrictions. (See, e.g., Civ. Code, § 1942.5, 1942.6, 1953.)." Id. at 1035. In addition, even under a free speech analysis, there might be an argument to be made that a tenant bulletin board is a kind of limited public forum -- especially to the extent the bulletin board is located in a freely accessible location -- and that the Board may not restrict postings based on the viewpoint of the poster.

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