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Ledger DC Journal - News, Politics & Crime

Obama Lawn Sign Battle (Photo) $400K Fight with HOA over Support for President

By Staff
Feb 10, 2013
Obama Lawn Sign Battle Pushes HOA into Bankruptcy.

An Obama sign has led to an epic battle between two homeowners who support the president and the Home Owner's Association of the housing complex where they live.

Maria Farran and her husband, Sam Farran locked horns with their HOA when a sign they planted in their yard that showed support for Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden in the 2008 election wound up being slightly too big.

A neighbor was upset with the sign and measured it and found out the sign was apparently four inches too tall for the strict rules the Home Owner's Association has when it comes to political signs and the neighbor turned the Obama supporters in for punishment.

After measuring, it was revealed that the sign was indeed four inches too tall and the couple were notified to fix the problem.

Instead of getting a sign with the specs required, the couple responded by cutting the sign in half to make the point they were upset with the rules.

The HOA fined them $900 anyway, unimpressed with the humor from the Obama supporters.

When their next home improvement project came up, it was rejected and the pair felt slighted and the battle was on.

Bring in the lawyers...

The Farrans filed a lawsuit against the HOA saying it didn’t have the authority to impose fines and had vindictively rejected their home improvements.

They eventually won the lawsuit after lawyers made a bunch of money and the couple's attorneys forced the HOA to pay their lawyer's fees.

Unfortunately - it broke the Home Owner's Association.

The HOA was on the hook for about $100,000 to pay off Farrans’ lawyers, and it owed hundreds of thousands more for its own legal bills for the lawsuits.

The HOA was financially ruined and filed for bankruptcy.

Now the community must sell its public square, which is the neighborhood’s central feature and the site of most community-wide events.

See more on the story here - some are arguing the couple ruined their community square to pay off a lawyer and make their point.

See a pic here - Maria Farran and her husband, Sam Farran pose for a portrait in the square of their living complex in Alexandria, Va. - the one that will now be sold.

The couple got their improvements approved an can have their sign - but they may have ruined their neighborhood's park.


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