Category Archives: Free Speech

Deborah Goonan

As Americans, we like to think of ourselves as being the freest people in the world.  And we are – or perhaps we were.  Gradually over the years American homeowners have been conned into believing they have given up some of those rights if that house is in a homeowner association.  Other times they have been misled into believing they never had any rights in the first place.  Bundled up in all of our rights we have what are often referred to as “natural rights” also inalienable rights.  These are rights that Belong to us and cannot be taken away.  Some of these rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  The first of those rights is included in the 1st Amendment.  It guarantees the right of free expression, including freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, religion and speech.  Nowhere in the Constitution did I find an exception for Homeowner associations.  What a shocker!

Deborah Goonan joins us On The Commons.  Deborah writes a blog called Independent American Communities and has become a walking encyclopedia of all the problems in HOAs across the country.  She has recently been following a troubling trend of HOAs stripping owners of their right to free speech part of the protections of the First Amendment.  We talk about Val Vista Lakes HOA in Gilbert Arizona whereThe association was threatening the residents with $250/day fines for exercising their right to free speech.  Find out why.  Check out  Independent American Communities  and do tune in to the show.  

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John Cowherd

John Cowherd

Americans always took such great pride in the personal freedoms guaranteed them in the constitution.  While the founders maintained that these rights were God given and always belonged to the people, the Constitution ensured that the government could not remove them.  Probably the 1st Amendment, protecting the right to free speech, is best known yet there seems to be a concerted effort to strip Americans of this right.  Much like Pavlov’s dogs we are being trained to limit our freedom of speech little by little.  There are many ways this is being done but probably one of the most blatant is moving entire segments of the population into controlled environments where we are told we “agreed” to give up our rights.

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons.  John is an attorney in Northern Virginia, who is not only knowledgeable in HOA law, but is one of a handful of attorneys who does  represent homeowners.   He maintains a blog called Words of Conveyance and recently blogged about Brindley v. City of Memphis and he joins us to discuss this case.  We’ll talk to John about Brindley whose right to free speech was curtailed in a property owners association and why he sued the city and the police department and not the association and won. 

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