FINED FOR CAMPAIGN SIGNS?

By Jan Bergemann

Published August 14, 2020

 

Every time we are closing in on an election the fight over campaign signs and/or banners and flags we see owners fighting with associations over the posting of these signs.

 

Eric explained on Monday the legal remedies about posting these signs.

 

If you are unlucky enough to live in a community association that tries to prohibit you from showing your support for a certain candidate, you still have an option to circumvent this violation of your First Amendment rights. The trick can be found in the Florida statutes.

 

If you live in an HOA that has sign restrictions, you might want to read the statutes carefully Ė because there is a loophole that leaves you a time-limited option.

 

This is the wording of FS 720.305(2)(b): A fine or suspension levied by the board of administration may not be imposed unless the board first provides at least 14 daysí notice to the parcel owner and, if applicable, any occupant, licensee, or invitee of the parcel owner, sought to be fined or suspended and an opportunity for a hearing before a committee of at least three members appointed by the board who are not officers, directors, or employees of the association, or the spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister of an officer, director, or employee.

 

The wording is similar in all other association statutes.

 

In reality that gives you a 14-day timeframe to post the sign to let your neighbors know who you support in the upcoming election. Have your sign(s) ready and put it in your front yard 14 days before the election. Even if you receive a violation letter, you have fourteen days to remedy the violation Ė see statutes.

 

Just remove the sign the evening after the polls closed to stop the association from fining you.

 

Make sure you put up your signs. Itís more important than ever in the upcoming election.

 

Since I donít live any longer in a HOA, my signs are already posted.

 

NO ASSOCIATION SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RESTRICT YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!


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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!

 

CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.

 

The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

   
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !


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