A property owners association may be powerless to collect assessments from community landowners to pay for road improvements, but at least it’s not liable for racketeering in the attempt, according to a ruling yesterday from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Dogwood Valley Citizens Association tried to make assessments against property owners in the small Greene County subdivision of Dogwood Valley. Since the courts had ruled the group had no authority to make such assessments, some property owners filed a federal RICO lawsuit.
Judge Norman Moon heard the claims and rejected the racketeering charges. Even though the property owners association was wrong about its power to collect maintenance fees, Moon found the group believed it had a legitimate right. The 4th Circuit now affirms.
No word on whether anyone has paved the deteriorating gravel roads at Dogwood Valley.
By Peter Vieth