RED, WHITE AND
Marine vet could lose home
favors homeowners association
Posted: September 11, 2003
Article Courtesu of WorldNetDaily.com
A U.S. Marine veteran is once again in
danger of losing his home in a neighborhood feud over flying an American
George Andres of Jupiter, Fla., who has
been warring with his homeowners association for the past four years, faced
a setback yesterday when a Palm Beach County judge ruled the association
could go forward with a foreclosure sale next month to collect legal fees,
the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
|Andres vowed to appeal the latest ruling.
"We are going to fight," he told the Florida
As WorldNetDaily reported, Andres was granted
a reprieve in May when Circuit Judge Edward Fine agreed to reconsider his
order authorizing the foreclosure.
As the Memorial Day weekend approached,
Andres got a congratulatory phone call from Gov. Jeb Bush, who had visited
him on Flag Day last year. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist was dispatched
to South Florida to help Andres celebrate his May victory after 23 court
hearings and thousands of dollars in fines had accrued.
Crist's office argued Andres' home was
constitutionally protected under the state's homestead law from foreclosure
by a homeowners association attempting to collect a legal debt.
|Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush celebrates Flag Day with Marine veteran George
Yesterday, however, Fine rejected that
argument and found the association's right to file a lien against the property
was established in 1982, six years before Andres purchased his home, the
|Andres' homeowners association, which
prohibits flagpoles, filed a lien on the property to collect approximately
$21,000 in attorneys' fees and legal costs. Andres has a 12-foot flagpole
in his front yard.
Defending the homeowners association, West
Palm Beach attorney Steven Selz insisted "there has to be a way to give
the association a right to enforce its claims on the property," the Florida
Andres' attorney Barry Silver said he would
file an appeal but hopes his client will agree to a settlement rather than
lose his home, which is scheduled to be auctioned Oct. 9.
Previous settlement offers required too
much compromise, Andres told the Sun-Sentinel.
"They said remove the flag and the flagpole,
and that is not a compromise," Andres said. "I'm 66, and I don't have much
left anyhow. We have to go ahead and fight."
Last year, Gov. Bush signed into law a
bill prompted by Andres' legal troubles. It allows residents to fly an
American flag "in a respectful manner" regardless of association rules.
The Florida legislature made the bill retroactive
to apply to Andres' situation, but it was passed long after a lien was
filed and the homeowners' association won its case. In April, the judge
hearing the case ruled foreclosure proceedings could move ahead despite
the new law.