Live in a condo … give up your rights?

From the Philly Inquirer:

Condos’ free-speech limits get a day in court

Twin Rivers has schools, businesses, a public library, and 10,000 units of housing.

But it’s not a town.

It’s a development where the rules are made by a homeowners association that is responsible for facets of life from trash collection to maintaining ball fields.

In a case to be argued Thursday, the state Supreme Court will weigh whether some of the association’s rules violate the constitutional rights of residents.

Residents sued more than six years ago, objecting to some of the rules, including one that bars them from putting up political yard signs wherever they want.

“People have rights,” resident Margaret Bar-Akiva told the Sunday Star-Ledger of Newark. “It’s a basic, fundamental right to express your views, and the fact that you live in a condominium or planned community cannot take that away from you.”

Scott Pohl, president of the homeowners association at Twin Rivers, said the rules were needed to maintain aesthetics and order in the community.

Some 57 million Americans – including 1.2 million in New Jersey – live in such planned communities. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey says that’s why the issue is worth examining.

“This case is so important because these types of living arrangements are simply becoming the reality of modern life,” said Ed Barocas, legal director of the ACLU in New Jersey.

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1 Response to Live in a condo … give up your rights?

  1. Lindsey says:

    The associations lose against the right to post political speech every time. I’ve been down this road often enough to know how it comes out. The Constituion is pretty clear on the free speech issue.

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