Judge: Homeowners association must pay pickup owner's legal fees

Article Courtesy of News Channel 8

By Peter Bernard

Published July 29, 2010

A 3 1/2-year legal battle over where an Odessa homeowner can park his pickup has come to a close.

On Friday, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Martha Cook awarded A.J. Vizzi and his wife, $187,443.37 for legal costs and fees spent to defend a case brought by The Eagles Homeowners Association

"I was really glad to finally hear that it was all over," said A.J. Vizzi, standing in his front yard near the brown Ford F-350 that started it all.

Vizzi's homeowners association sued him for violating the covenants in his deed-restricted community. It said Vizzi had to park the large truck in his garage and not in his driveway. Vizzi countered that the truck would not fit, and he did not want a smaller truck because it would not be able to haul his 40-foot camper.

"I wasn't the aggressor in this. I wasn't the one who went after them," Vizzi said. "It was all just defense of something that I always knew that I was right about. And I just held my ground," he said.


A Hillsborough circuit court agreed and ruled in Vizzi's favor. In 2009, the homeowners association appealed. In March, the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's ruling.

A.J. Vizzi stands by the Ford F-350 truck that started the legal mess with his his homeowners association in 2006.

Vizzi's attorney, Clearwater-based Dan Anderson, said the court found the provision in the covenants about trucks unenforceable.

"I never expected it would go this far. And, in fact, many times we tried to resolve the case," Anderson said. "I tried to end the battle and the association just wouldn't budge."

A call Tuesday to the lawyer representing the homeowners association was not returned. The association has 30 days from Friday's ruling to appeal the judge's decision.

Riding in on an F-350 to slay the busybodies

Court sides with homeowner in dispute over pickup