Legal Update – Dec. 13, 2020

Note: Homestead parcel owners should expect to receive in the mail a notice of the class action.

By: K. David Andersson

Defendant 18 Paradise recently filed a motion to keep from disclosing the lease between 18 Paradise and MJ Management with the Plaintiffs and Class Members. They claim that it contains highly confidential business information that would compromise 18 Paradise’s ability to negotiate future real estate deals involving the Homestead Farms Golf Course. We, of course, have opposed that motion stating that the Plaintiffs and members of the class are entitled to know the basis on which Mick O’Bryan and MJ Management obtained the authority to file the 6th and 7th Amendments. That hearing is currently noted for January 2021 due to Judge Olsen’s schedule over the fast approaching Christmas and New Years holidays and court closures.

Last week the President of the Chateaux Condominium Association (“Chateaux”) filed a criminal complaint with the Lynden Police Department (“LPD”) against Mick O’Bryan.  The complaint alleges that Mick committed a Class C Felony in violation of RCW 40.16.030 by filing a fraudulent easement in the Whatcom Recorder’s Office against the Chateaux common space. Of course, Mick will have the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law should LPD press charges. Read the complaint here. (Related: Declaration of Ronald Saran)

Next week, we will file a motion for Summary Judgement requesting that the Court find the 6th and 7th Amendments void on several grounds.  We anticipate that this hearing will also be set for January 2021.

We have completed our initial review of the 3500 pages of documents dumped on us by 18 Paradise and hidden in those documents we have discover evidence of over $200,000 that MJ Management has spent on a golf course in Birch Bay called Sea Links.  According to local press article from 2019 MJ is helping Chen to develop Sea Links.  Chen owns Sea Links through a separate partnership – North America Chen’s Holdings, LLP.  

From the Plaintiff’s several interviews with Mick O’Bryan – MJ Management has only two sources of revenue:  

  1. Golf related revenue (green fees, memberships, carts, clubs and balls); and
  2. Maintenance fees collected from Homestead Parcel Owners.

 

According, to MJ Management the rationale for the 6th and 7th Amendments is to address a lack of funds to carry out its Common Open Space maintenance obligations in 2019 and 2020.  So how did they have sufficient funds to spend over $200,000 on Sea Links?  See Sea Links spreadsheet here. (Related: Andersson Declaration)

Our investigation and discovery of evidence on this and other important issue continues.

Last but not least, we have been made aware of several Parcel Owners who have sold their property after our complaint was filed this year and have been forced to pay delinquent maintenance fees to the Defendants 18 Paradise and MJ Management.   You will note that the Court Order certifying the class action defines a Class Member as follows:

“Every person or entity who is a record owner of a fee or undivided fee interest in any Lot or Condominium Unit that is subject to the Master Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Reservations for Homestead, a Planned Residential Development, recorded under Whatcom County recording number 920624017”

This means that even if you sell your Homestead property during the litigation you will still be a Class Member and entitled to any compensation awarded by the Court.   We have specifically requested a return of all fees paid pursuant to the invalid 6th and 7th Amendments.

We maintain a master list of all Class Members and if you sell your property, please advise us of your new contact information so that we can keep you informed.

As always we are happy to answer questions or concerns you might have – ideally, we would like to include your questions and our answers in our FAQ section of the website as several Parcel Owners might have the same questions or concerns. (Contact Form).

Stay safe and be well.

Click here to read Court Order Granting Class Certification