THE VER­DICT

Reader's Digest - - You Be The Judge -

No, it did not. In his rul­ing in Jan­uary 2017, Judge Leo E. Green Jr. ex­plained that “by be­ing able to man­date a spe­cific mail­box, the board could man­date other things.” He con­sid­ered this to be a slip­pery slope. “What if the board de­cided to­mor­row that the home­own­ers all needed slate roofs that cost $50,000?” asked the Strongs’ at­tor­ney, Matthew Skip­per. The judge ruled the mail­box reg­u­la­tion “null and void.” Strong didn’t have to pay the $1,600 in non­com­pli­ance fines. He did, how­ever, have to pay his own $33,000 le­gal fee—roughly the cost of 66 of those cast-alu­minum mailboxes—plus his frac­tion of the op­pos­ing at­tor­ney’s fees, which were paid out of HOA dues. “A lot of peo­ple have said con­grat­u­la­tions for stand­ing up for us,” Strong told fox5dc.com. “Some peo­ple even of­fered to help pay our le­gal ex­penses.” Other folks felt dif­fer­ently: Two months af­ter the rul­ing, Strong found his old wooden mail­box on the ground and the post smashed in half.

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