Skip to comments.Retirement community wants 6-year-old evicted
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:53:41 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch
Pinellas Park, Florida-- A six year old girl sent to live with her grandparents as a baby is now being evicted from her home, for being too young.
The grandparents, Jimmy and Judie Stottler, live in a Pinellas Park retirement community that doesn't allow children. The Home Owners Association now wants the child removed.
"For some reason, there's a few, just a few who don't want Kimberly. And I just don't get it," said Judie Stottler.
The granddaughter was taken from her home at just six months old after the state discovered her mother was abusing drugs. She's lived with her grandparents against the rules ever since.
The family says they want to move out of the neighborhood, but by the time they put their home up for sale, the housing market crashed.
"They have no more assets to go out and purchase a rental property," said attorney Robert Eckard who is representing the family free of charge. "If they sell the home they can move. If not, they're homeless on the street."
The H-O-A president has been quoted saying he is only trying to enforce the rules. And while some residents argue the rules need to be followed, others suggest a compromise.
Either way, it will be up to a judge to decide what happens to the six year old next.
If the grandparents are unable to sell their home, the granddaughter could be sent to foster care.
That's something the Stollers say they will never let happen.
"They will have to drag me out in handcuffs and tear her from my arms," promises Judie Stoller.
"I'm not putting her out on the streets."
1. Remove all valuables from the premises.
2. Find another place to live on a short-term basis.
3. Burn the house to the ground.
At least we'll find out very quickly what the real market price of the home is. And rveryone goes away happy, right?
I think it is great that they are taking care of their grandchild.
But they also want the nice lifestyle of a retirement community.
They tried to pull a fast one on their HOA. When the child arrived 5 years ago- they should have immediately sold their home and moved when the market was at its peak.
Now, when the market is low, they say that they cannot sell. They had their opportunity to do it 5 years ago, but thought they could get away with defying HOA rules.
I guess the HOA called their bluff.
So. They get the girl, as a decision by the court, for what was probably to be a short term, so the mother could clean up her act. They likely thought it wouldn't be a five-year deal. Once they realized the mother wasn't going to clean up her act, and the market crashed, what do they do?
1) It sounds like the place has let her live there for 5 years or more before making an issue of it? Isn’t there some legal principle (estoppel or something) that keeps them from selective enforcement?
2) It is possible that the grandparents never anticipated she would be with them “permanently”, thought the mother would rehabilitate and take her back, so they did not rush to sell when she was first placed.
The way I see it, there is a basic legal/administrative conflict here that needs to be resolved . . . between the HOA rules prohibiting children and a judge’s order requiring the girl to live in her grandparents’ custody.
so You are the arbiter of what constitutues a newbie? How silly but if it makes you feel big, have at it
Do you know how many times the HOA reminded these people of the rules they VOLUNTARILY agreed to and signed on to. We don’t know if the HOA has been trying to be lenient but at some point rules are rules.
Sorry these people knew the rules when they took the baby in and ignored the rules for 5 years , during which they could have sold the home at the top of the market.
Yes they did the right thing in taking the little girl who is the innocent in all this and it is thoughtless of the grandparents to trot her out and whine. How does that make the child feel?
One last question, OLDIE, do you selectively obey rules for contracts you’ve signed? Do you for instance pay credit cards late and expect no penalty?
The HOA is setting a precedence. If they allow this 1 child, soon there will be 44, along with playgrounds and swingsets. Screaming kids in a Senior’s Community?
When and individual uses “poor Kim” in their words I say that person has a problem with children. Everyone including the HOA new of her presence, how could they not. Now they want to evict? Something amiss here.
A bad precedent for the HOA. They allowed the girl to live there for 5 and a half years. They failed to enforce their rules and get a judgement 5 and a half years ago. Pretty good case for the grandparents. In many states, a lack of enforcement, over a period of time, of a particular rule on the HOA's part can lead to the HOA losing the right to complain about that rule being followed years later.
Even if they were hoping mother would get rehabilitated, a year of waiting would have been sufficient.
The market was still doing well 4 years ago.
And by the way, welcome newbie. We were all newbies once. Some of these folks calling you a newbie are still newbies to me, so don’t worry about it.
This is like a mini version of the immigration debate!
Bingo. But a lot of folks here seem ok with that. (Or, they will until it’s THEIR retirement community.)
Are you suggesting they concealed the presence of this child for five years?
The HOA looked the other way for five years and now wants to enforce a rule it should've sought to enforce five years ago. Practice is policy. A rule unenforced is really not a rule. And this particular rule remained unenforced for YEARS.
As far as the market is concerned, if the HOA really wants the folks out, why interfere with the sale? I think what a lot of people are responding to is the ludicrous position the HOA is creating - you can't stay, but you can't sell. This begs the question: What is it the HOA is really trying to do?
Indeed. Voluntary contracts are anathema to a free Peoples.
OK. I’m getting on my soap box here. Kimberly and her mother were victims of a home invasion and came to stay with the grandparents 5 1/2 years ago. The mother then became drug addicted, left the home, and the grandparents were given custody of the baby. The grandparents were already living there.
These are folks who, in the face of personal tragedy, are trying to do the best thing for their granddaughter. Many posters on this forum claim to favor Right to Life, and this certainly is a right to life case, if ever there was one.
The grandparents have already reduced the price of their home by $100,000 and have had only one showing this year — no offers. What more do you want them to do? They are retired, for goodness sakes.
To throw these folks and this child out into the street is the most cold and heartless thing I have ever heard contemplated.
I know too many bullies who gain a place on the HOAs and use that position to harrass their neighbors. If I made the rules, the folks trying to throw this child into the street would be evicted from their homes.
The HOA is at double fault here.
1. They have allowed this situation for 5 years.
2. They DENIED the grandparents to opportunity sell the house at a below market price. Didn’t want to lower overall property values.
Easy solution: The court will (and should) demand the HOA pay the 2005 (maximum) value for the home.
The HOA should eat all costs. This is the price the HOA (and ALL the homeowners) should pay for being stupid enough to live in a HOA.
What do you mean “now”? Apparently, they’ve been giving them the chance to do the right thing. Decent people usually live up to their contracts. These people seem to think the rules apply to everyone but them—I’ll bet they were Obama voters. They don’t sound like the kind of people I’d want to live near, child or no child.
Thank you. That was thoughtful. I appreciate you taking the time to post that
Why doesn’t the H-O-A buy their home so they can move? Seems like the perfect solution to their little commune environment.
It’s a sad situation to be sure. I worked as an admin assistant to the property manager at one of these 55+ communities. Unfortunately, the grandparents knew the rules when the first came to look at the property, way before any paperwork was even started. You can have minor visitors for certain lengths of time (ours was 30 days) to allow grandkids a chance to visit or for grandparents to help out in an emergency. But they knew and they should have started looking for another home when they brought her home. It’s not that they don’t want ‘Kimberly’, its that they’re living in a community where kids aren’t allowed to live. Some people want that and pay good money for it. It means they have a pool and a clubhouse they pay for, that they can use whenever they want without fighting kids to get to it. Their right to raise their grandchild does not negate the rights of the other tenants to live in a community they are paying top dollar for and following the rules in.
One thing I’m not sure about is that the HOA can stop them from selling at a certain price. Never heard that before. Neighbors may have complained about it bringing the price down but can they legally do it? Is it part of the contract or bylaws of community? Having worked at one, I’d never live in one, although part of that is the management I saw.
Grouchy old people.......they get that way.
There's a reason they live in retirement communities......its to segregate them from the rest of society. LOL!
Probably more like (fingers crossed behind back) "Oh, this is just temporary, and we'll have it settled in no time..."
I have a friend who chose not to pay his HOA dues. They sent a lawyer after him. Now he has to pay the dues AND the attorney fees. Plus, it's almost time to pay dues again. He told me that if he doesn't comply, they could foreclose on his home. He isn't much for paying on anything though. The IRS just caught up with him for not filing for 2005, 2006, and 2008. Ironically, they were tipped off from an error he made on his 2007 returns.
I think the grandparents did a great thing in taking in the child. They did a perfectly horrid thing in not finding a new place to live (that’s child-friendly) in 5 1/2 years. Apparently you don’t think that contracts are important?
If I made the rules, the folks trying to throw this child into the street would be evicted from their homes.
And I would build playgrounds and invite more children to live in this senior citizen community. To hell with the old geezers who thought they could live as they wished.
(Finished your thought for ya...)
They have a drug addicted daughter. They've been breaking the rules for five years, and now want to vilify and take to court the people who want to enforce the rules. What makes you think they are honest and ethical?
See post 68. That’s what I’m saying too.
The grandparents have had 4.5 years to resolve the situation. For less than a year and a half, there has been a crashed real estate market.
They couldn’t get their act together for 3 years, and yet it’s my fault for expecting them to follow the rules?
I see that common sense has fled the room... You talk about understanding their circumstances, and yet ignore the 36 month mulligan you are demanding we give them.
While certainly in an initial 90 day period (normal rehab) I can see an element of “temporary” coming into the picture, but FIVE years? Nope.
“Pulling a fast one” implies covert actions and deceit. The child was right there in the open. Everyone knew. The HOA did seemingly nothing.
Personally, I think it is odd to watch the board discuss this child as if she were merely a bizarre piece of lawn ornamentation or a junked car in the front yard the HOA didn’t like.
I didn’t say they were. I said walking out on an upside down loan is not the path of honest and ethical people.
They ought to be happy with Kimberly. She’ll be paying for their everything in 12 years.
lol Never fear...some of us are anti-cranky old people. :D
Odd lawn ornament? Funny, you’re the only one here saying that. The rest of us applaud the grandparents for taking the child, AND we think it’s awful that they’ve malingered on house-hunting. People who won’t honor contracts won’t honor much else, either. They should be evicted.
Oh, don’t worry about us “old cranky people.” (Including your elderly relatives by the way.) Obamacare will see to it we’re disposed of so the youngsters can pick our bones.
I agree with RW ginger, you sign a contract you adhere to it. No lying, cheating or stealing.
OTOH, there may be a stipulation in the HO that allows for a temprary relief from a rule in 60% of the home owners agree.
If the rule about U.S. flags was in the HOA agreement they signed when buying the house, yes.
Very sad story, selfless grandparents, but should have moved asap. :(
Well, they tried to get out but the HOA blocked the sale.
Why evict when the HOA could just alow the sale? The HOA can certainly wrap themselves inside their rules, but that doesn’t mean the HOA has a logically superior position here.
Enforcement of a rule to the blind exclusion of all other factors is not the same thing as application of judgment.
I’m not an attorney, but it seems to me the SALE of the house is where the HOA went wrong. I’m not sure they can dictate the prices of the homes. That said, the family shouldn’t have waited so long. They had a good 4 years of a good housing market to sell, and didn’t.
The story reminds me of some of these "zero tolerance" stories that have been in the news lately--like the 6-year-old who was going to be sent to reform school because he brought his Cub Scout eating utensil to school.
I bought into a gated community with these type of rules. I knew the rules and signed on the dotted line to that effect when I plunked my money down.
These folks have had six ears to make other arrangements. How many years would you need?
The rules exist so we do not have to endure stereos, loud behavior, people who insist on turning their driveways into car repair centers, parking their boats on the lawn, etc, etc., and having to put up with the neighbors kids.
I believe the HOA there has been more than understanding and generous. It is the grandparents who have not made any effort to provide another home for this child.
It’s not being cold and calloused, it’s about respecting others around you for what they expect to receive for buying into a place such as this.
It is not illegal discrimination, just selfishness and blatant disregard for the rules to which they had agreed.
if it took 5 years to get to this point, my guess is that there are only a few people who take offense to a small child who never really had a choice.
i'm a cop. by your reasoning, everyone i lock up for stealing a pack of gum should go to jail for a year. well, a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor, right!? the law is the law is the law!
it's called discretion. rational people use it everyday. they are trying to sell their house. they tried to take a lower prcie, but your precious HOA said no because it would lower the value of the surrounding houses.
there is also something called compassion. look it up.
You're right. If they're allowed to get away with it, pretty soon everyone else there will be running out to get a 6 year old girl to raise.
stop injecting rational arguments into this discussion! these people will have none of that!
The community can always vote on amending the HOA rules. It usually takes a certain percentage of homes (I think in ours it's 60%). However, I doubt they can say "we'll change it only in Kimberly's case." What happens when Mr. & Mrs. Smith decide they need to take in their 3 teenage grandchildren? How about Mr. & Mrs. Jones and their chronically unemployed 30-something son? Pretty soon the reason these folks bought and paid for their community is gone.
So, your in favor of granting to a few the power to make these people homeless simply because they are raising a 6 year old grandchild to avoid having her be placed in foster care? That’s heartless.
Or even illegal immigrants who've been here even longer than Kimberly!
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