Litigation News

Class member information and legal updates

Our Fees. Our Space. Not For Profit.

The Goal

Homestead parcel owners want control over how their restrictive covenants are enforced and how their maintenance fees are spent.

The Complaint

The Complaint alleges that Golf course owner 18 Paradise, LLP (Morris Chen) and its management agent MJ Management (Mick O’Bryan and Josh Williams) have wrongfully charged and collected the common area maintenance fee for years. The lawsuit argues that the maintenance fee is tantamount to stealing from homeowners and demands an accounting and a return of any misappropriated funds.

Intended only for private street, street lights and common space maintenance, their fee increase from $36/month in 2019 to $93/month in 2020 (times 600 parcels) exceeds $600,000. 

Recent quotes from local landscaping (referenced in diagram) and electrical contractors (not referenced) indicate maintenance fees should only be a fraction of that amount.

Lend Your Voice

Homeowners, thanks to your overwhelming show of approval the court reconsidered its original decision and has certified this as a class action lawsuit.

What is A Class Action Lawsuit?

"The class is defined by the court in an order. We expect that to be all owners who are subject to the monthly fee under the CC&Rs. If the court approves the class action, Homestead parcel owners will be notified. Class members are given the right to opt out of the class action. People who opt out do not get the benefit of the lawsuit and may bring their own lawsuit if they wish. Class members have no risk of liability concerning the lawsuit. Defendants may not assert counterclaims against class members, and class members cannot be liable for attorney fees."
Matthew Davis
Davis Leary, PLLC

FAQ

What Do The Maintenance Fees Pay For?

As outlined in the CC&Rs, Article III, Section 3.3, the maintenance fees pay for maintaining common open space, entry signs and landscape, mailbox surrounds, street light electrical power bills, and lights not maintained by the City of Lynden.

if i don't pay the $93 fee, will i owe interest?

Any amount that is not paid when due earns legal interest at 12% per year. If the Court decides that homeowners owe back fees, they may be liable for interest on them.

 

Can I opt out of the lawsuit?

Yes, class members are given the right to opt out. An opt out form has been mailed to all class members. If you opt out, you will not get the benefit of the lawsuit. You don’t have to make that decision until March 31, 2021, so it may be wise to wait and see what happens.

WHO IS HOAG?

“H.O.A.G.” is an acronym for Homestead Owners Advisory Group (not to be confused with the Homestead Advisory Board). These concerned owner volunteers came together in January of 2020 to advocate on behalf of their neighborhoods against the unfair practices of 18 Paradise and their agent MJ Management, in hiking fees by 158% without any accounting. Negotiation Timeline >>>

WHERE DO I GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT?

Regular updates are published on this website under “Updates.” For the latest legal news click this link: 

https://homestead-hoa.org/news/

HOW DO HOMEOWNERS GET REPRESENTATION & ACCOUNTABILITY?

The only way to have representation and accountability is through an HOA where the HOA is not-for-profit and is governed by an elected board of homeowners. Homestead has an HOA but it’s being governed by the Declarant, 18 Paradise for profit.

WILL THE GOLF COURSE SHUT DOWN BECAUSE HOMEOWNERS AREN’T PAYING THEIR FEES?

The Homestead golf course is owned by a wealthy foreign businessman (18 Paradise, LLP/Morris Chen) who does not need homeowner maintenance fees to keep the golf course open. If the Homestead golf course were to shut down, the owner would lose his $2.5 million investment in it. Related, he also owns Sea Links golf course in Blaine  … Read more

COMPARED TO OTHER GOLF COURSE COMMUNITY DUES, $93/MONTH SEEMS REASONABLE.

The Homestead PRD is not like other golf course communities that typically subsidize the golf course and receive benefits for said subsidies. Homestead homeowner dues are expressly for maintenance of common open spaces.

WHO PAYS THE LAWYER FEES?

The attorneys have agreed to charge low rates and rely on contributions to a trust fund that has been set up to support this lawsuit. The trust fund is independently managed by an outside attorney, and a committee of plaintiffs reviews every payment. Success will depend on enough Homestead owners deciding to contribute. If we prevail and are awarded fees, all contributions will be refunded pro rata.

what is pro rata distribution?

A pro rata distribution of surplus means that people are paid in proportion to their contribution or interest within the whole trust fund. Example: If the total fund is $100 and a contributor has put in a total of $10, then a pro rata distribution means 10% of the surplus. Learn more

 

HOW DO I DONATE TO THE TRUST FUND?

Make checks payable to Boundary Bay Law In Trust (Homestead Class Action Ref. #535292897 in Notes).

Mail checks to: Boundary Bay Law PC, 1155 N. State St., Ste #603, Bellingham, WA 98225.

 

ARE HOMEOWNER FEES SUBSIDIZING THE GOLF COURSE?

It’s hard to know definitively one way or the other. In situations where homeowners do subsidize a golf course, they typically get something in return. For example, free golf, use of the facilities, profit share. At Homestead, homeowners don’t get any of that. The fee is intended only to maintain common open spaces (COS) as outlined in the in the CC&Rs.

Join your neighbors

If you are a Homestead parcel owner and want control on how membership dues are spent, show your support by approving this lawsuit.

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