Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shaw & Lines Team wins "Small Firm" Division in The Night Run’s Law Team Challenge!

A team from Shaw & Lines, LLC recently participated in The Night Run Challenge, an 8K race through Downtown Scottsdale benefiting the Workshop for Youth and Families. Participant in the Night Run Challenge included local law firms. The Shaw & Lines Team won the "Small Firm" Division! Congratulations to all who participated!!

The cool shirts were designed and manufactured by Pinnacle Prints & Embroidery, who graciously sponsored the team. Their website is Shaw & Lines, LLC sincerely thanks Pinnacle Prints & Embroidery for their sponsorship of the shirts.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Many of the questions submitted to me regard how a HOA may enforce the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). As such, I have decided to briefly explain how HOAs may enforce their CC&Rs. Enforcement of a HOA’s CC&Rs may be effectuate in two types of actions, which are the imposition of fines and the filing of a lawsuit seeking Injunctive relief.

Imposing a fine for the violation of a HOA’s CC&Rs is the most common means of gaining compliance in HOAs in Arizona. Under A.R.S. §33-1803, which applies to Planned Communities (the Condominium Act, the Arizona Statute that applies to condominiums, does not contain a provision on the imposition of fines. As such, one must look to the CC&Rs of the condominium to determine whether the imposition of a fine may be effectuated), a HOA may fine an owner who is in violation of the restrictions so long as the following criteria are met:

1. The fine is “reasonable”;

2. The fine is imposed after notice and an opportunity to be heard; and

3. The notice of the fine must contain a statement regarding how the fine will be enforced.

The amount of fines must be reasonable. This means that the fine amount set must be reasonable in regard to the violation. For example, a $1000 fine for weeds in the front yard would likely be considered unreasonable.

Additionally, many HOAs mistakenly impose fines for violations of the restrictions without providing the violating owner an opportunity to be heard before the HOA’s board of directors. This problem may be corrected by informing the owner, in the fine notification, that if the owner wishes to discuss the fine with the HOA’s board of directors, he may do so. Please note that an opportunity to be heard must only be provided. If an owner does not take the opportunity to be heard, the fine may be imposed.

Finally, an owner must be informed as to how a HOA intends to collect the fine if the owner refuses to pay the fine. Recent changes to the laws affecting homeowners associations have removed imposed fines from the association’s assessment lien unless an association’s documents otherwise provide. This means that fines may no longer be automatically included in a notice of claim of lien or in a pay-off statement developed when an owner sells or conveys his property unless the association obtains a valid judgment and records said judgment. Also, lots may no longer be foreclosed due to delinquent fines.

Arizona has long established that enforcement of restrictive covenants may be effectuated through the seeking of an injunction, which is a civil lawsuit asking a judge to order a noncompliant homeowner to comply with the restrictive covenants.

An injunction should be used when fining is either inappropriate or ineffective, meaning, an injunction should be used in situations where either immediate compliance is required (situations involving health and safety) or situations where fining becomes ineffective (i.e. the owner is ignoring the fines).

Many CC&Rs allow HOAs to recover the legal fees used to obtain the injunction if the Association prevails in the suit. The fees would be recouped through requesting that the court award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Seven Secrets of a Successful Community Association

By Augustus H. Shaw IV, Esq., CCAL
Shaw & Lines, LLC

Many of my Association clients ask me what are the secrets to some of your more successful association clients. I respond to them that over the years, I have seen seven traits that successful community association implement on a daily basis. The seven traits of a successful community association are:
1. Have an Educated Board of Directors;
2. Hire Professional Management;
3. Listen to the Membership;
4. Seek Member Involvement;
5. Treat All Members Equally;
6. Inspect the Common Property; and
7. Obtain Proper Community Association Insurance.

These traits, when implemented, will help a community association not only properly serve the members, but also steer clear of potential pitfalls and liability.

The Prescott and Sedona HOA Academy – May 19, 2012

The Prescott and Sedona HOA Academy is your chance to take a crash course in how to operate, manage and live in a homeowners asso¬ciation. This FREE Seminar and Lunch is presented by the Leadership Centre, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides Arizona residents with information, resources and tools that create and support effective community leaders. Classes to be taught at the Academy include: 1. Legal Aspects of Community Associations; 2. Changes in the Laws Affecting Community Associations; 3. Association Meetings; 4. How to Choose a Vendor/Management Company; and 5. Association Budgets. For more information, please see or

The Prescott and Sedona HOA Academy will take place Saturday, May 19, 2012 (9:30am Registration - 9:50am start time to 4:00pm) at the City of Prescott Adult Center 1280 E. Rosser Street, Prescott, AZ 86301. To Register phone 480.456.1500 or e-mail