Blog Post by David Swedelson, SwedelsonGottlieb Partner, Condo Lawyer and HOA Attorney
After the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida last year, I posted a blog article highlighting the need for community associations to supervise their volunteers. Follow this link for that March 2012 blog article. If you have been following the George Zimmerman trial at all, you would understand how important it is for community associations to supervise their volunteers. I am not following the day to day testimony at the trial but I have heard enough to tell me that perhaps George should not have been allowed to patrol his association looking for bad guys.
Apparently, in Florida, the community associations have volunteers that carry guns. I was alerted to a news report out of Orlando where a woman reported that she was sitting on a pier at a homeowners association when a man who said he was an HOA official came up to her brandishing a gun she claims he pointed at her, telling her that the pier was closed.
The police were called, and the guy tells them that he is the chair of the association’s Fine and Hearing Violations Committee. At the time, he was carrying two guns that he claimed he was using (at night?) to hunt small animals around the association. Really?!
The association’s manager confirmed that the guy was the chair of the committee, but that he was not authorized to carry and brandish a gun. He was arrested for aggravated assault and for open carrying of weapons/firearms. Follow this link to read the news article.
So, do you know what your volunteers are doing? Maybe you need to make sure they are not doing anything that is not approved by the board.
David Swedelson is a community association legal expert. He can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.