After members of a homeowners association disapproved of his mailbox, a resident in a suburban Washington D.C. community of million-dollar homes took them to court, and won.
The Washington Post reports that the fight wasn’t only about the mailbox (the resident, Keith Strong, spent $33,000 on legal fees, while the proposed mailbox upgrade would’ve only been $500). Instead, the issue was about property rights, and how much power a homeowners association has.
The civil fight — known in some court circles as “the $500 mailbox case” — is one in a line of feuds between homeowners associations seeking to maintain pleasing communities through quality of life standards and property owners who fear individual rights are being trampled by quasi-political bodies run amok. Or, as Circuit Court Judge Leo E. Green Jr. said in his order requiring the mailbox rules be removed: “This is the slippery slope they [the Strongs] seek to level.”