Anthem Highlands President Removed Must Personally Pay Hearing Costs & Legal Fees
Anthem Opinions   Nevada
By: Tim Stebbins

Basic information
The Commission for Common-Interest Communities (the Commission) is a tribunal of seven persons appointed by the Governor with the power to impose disciplinary action on misbehaving directors and officers in Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

The Nevada Real Estate Division (the Division) is the government body responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations pertaining to HOAs.

When homeowners in HOAs elect directors to the executive board of their community, those directors gain substantial powers and also real responsibilities and accountability.

Often this goes to their head and the directors develop an ego boost, particularly if they are elected by the other directors to be president of the association.

Too often the association attorney “strokes” the ego of the board members and tells them they are all powerful and can do whatever they wish. The attorney assures them they will never be held personally accountable. 

This can lead to all kinds of bad behaviors to the detriment of the homeowners.

In a significant and precedent setting ruling at a hearing last week that has changed for the good of homeowners. The Commission held the president of our neighbor community, Anthem Highlands, personally liable to pay hearing costs well over $4,000 for autocratic and dictatorial behavior.

In addition the Commission removed the president from the board effective immediately and ordered he not be a member of any HOA board in Nevada for at least five years.

Normally the remaining board members can appoint a replacement, but not in this case. The Commission ordered a new special election be held as soon as possible.

The charges were brought by the relatively new head of the Division, Mr. Joseph Decker.

Mr. Decker is a very competent administrator with a no nonsense agenda.

The prosecutor was Senior Deputy Attorney General Michelle Briggs. She is a skillful and aggressive attorney recognized as the authority on HOA law.

Because the president of Anthem Highlands chose to use the association attorney as his own attorney for the hearing he must also personally pay for all legal fees and costs. Neither the association nor the insurance company will pay anything.

This is really good news for the homeowners.

The president’s attorney tried all kinds of tactics to delay and confuse the hearing with multiple motions. The Commission rejected all of them and proceeded with the hearing. 

The court stenographer was sworn in; witnesses were sworn in. Testimony and cross-examination occurred as well as introduction of multiple evidence documents.

The Commission stood in judgement and ruled as noted above.

The final result is the homeowners in Anthem Highlands were protected from all costs and relieved of a very bad board member.

The message is now clear. The responsibilities of directors and officers are a very serious matter. 

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