SB 417- Testimony in opposition, Senate JudiciaryCommittee Tuesday April 11, 2023
My name is Mike Kosor. I strongly oppose SB 417. I serve as one of only two elected directors on mydeclarant controlled Master Board of a nearly 9,000 units community.
Senators, we should be seeking to ADVANCE board transparency, especially where boards are declarantcontrolled, and ENCOURAGE greater participation of owners in their HOAs. THIS BILL DOES THE OPPOSITE.
Prohibitions on defamatory statement is appropriate and long a violation of NRS. But as written, this bill (sec 2 & 3) will allow the association to determine what they consider defamatory and ultimatelyprovide the association the ability to censor free speech based on opposing positions from that of theboard (or declarant when appropriate). This section of NRS 116 was intended (in 2013 when added) toprovide the Division and Commission powers to protect homeowners from bulling, “out of control” HOAcorporate boards and management companies. Existing civil laws dealt with owner misconduct- amisdemeanor. What is now proposed creates as new crime and flips the protection on its head. It is anassault on First Amendment rights, an end-run of Nev anti-SLAPP laws, and generally works to chillowner opposition to the governance of their communities- not to mention a rainmaker for attorneys and management companies.
We have association attorneys routinely writing cease and desist letters to homeowners based onopposition to board actions made in person and/or on social media, most all of which are baseless and used simply to intimidate. They do not file litigation because 1) a vote of owners is righty required andmore importantly, 2) most all actions would be thrown out as baseless. But the threat of action -baseless or not- is the chilling element. If they could, as this bill attempts to permit, side-stepping theowner vote requirement or by using proxies, the chilling effect would be extensive and immediate – using the purse of owners.
I have been a victim of a defamation action- the first legal action of my life (Olympia v Kosor). It was 5years, A Neveda Supreme Court ruling, and nearly 7 figures in attorney fees, even when invoking Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law. While the developer lost its battle with me (the Court finding the action “quintessential SLAPP”), the developer and his appointed board won the war. My neighbors dare not benext. But they did subsequently elect me to represent them. I am a retired USAF Colonel and fighter pilot, with combat experience in the first Gulf War. This experience, defending the attacks by thisdeveloper on my family’s financial future, was in total the most stressful experience of my life.
I am uncertain as to the viability of the Division (or Commission) protecting the fundamental right of free speech and to perform the needed due process of law, censorship of communications in social media,work place violence, civil disobedience, etc., this bill could levy on it. Do you really want the Division orvolunteer directors susceptible to the influence of mangers and declarants involved here?
A second anti-transparency effort of the bill is it seeks to charge “actual” cost to inspect documents. Allcommunity managers are paid to provide the record keeping services for the association as part of theirbase fee. Any cost incurred in providing that service they are already made whole. Sec 1 of this billallowing for the “actual” (undefined and arbitrary) payment, is a doubling of the payment. It is inconsistent with other regulated charging for record inspections, will demand even moreassociation policies, and is totally inappropriate. This is simply, at best, a windfall subsidy to communitymanagers at the expense of the homeowners with a right to access community records. Ormore likely, it provides an ugly tool for association or managing agents so inclined to use cost barriers to chill transparency.
Sec 4 weaponizes the NRED complaint process to remove and ban “abusers” for up to 10 years fromserving on a board for a little as filing a “misleading” complaint (among other not well-defined offenses).
If “misleading” was a punishable standard for attorney’s filing civil litigation, we would most likely have a server shortage of litigators. In any case, in comparison, a convict out of probations can run for public office after only 4 years.
Sec 5 phrasing is nonsensical and adds ambiguity. An allegation of a violation is by definition a violationunder the condition of the hypothesis -“assuming it is true”. It would add an extra step to the complaint process and would take an already flawed complaint process, where the Division is not accountable forits decisions. It would make the process even more opaque, permitting a case closure at the outset before the Ombudsman is involved. Denying owners accesses to a Commission hearing leaves owners no recourse but costly litigation, where deep pockets and “influencers” have a huge advantage.
Lastly, had the CIC Task Force, specifically enacted by 2019 legislation to better bring HOAlaw changes for approval, been used as intended (not completely void for over 2 1/2 years) much if not all could have been avoided.
This is a bad bill all around. Please, do not pass.Michael Kosor, Colonel, USAF Ret.Director, Southern Highlands Community AssociationMikekosor.com
HOA homeowners, protect your rights! Stop SB 417.
Contact your State representatives to oppose SB 417.
Table summarizes the uninvestigated allegations of attorney misconduct
|Uninvestigated Ethics Complaints to the State Bar of Nevada
|2/23/22 Verified Bar Complaint Vs. Melanie Morgan, Akerman LLP Morgan aided and abetted Nationstar to collect on a debt it was not owed from Tobin who did not owe it by misrepresentation, concealing and suppression of evidence, stipulated dismissal of claims without adjudication, unfair removal of Tobin as an Individual party on false pretenses, fraudulent side deal with non-party Joel Stokes, misrepresented as the Nationstar-Jimijack settlement & improper Ex Parte communications with 1st judge Pages 4045-4154
|2/28/22 Wright Finley Zak LLP Verified Bar Complaint WFZ filed Nationstar’s original meritless & conflicting claims to be the beneficiary owed the debt from the deed of trust extinguished by the 8/1/14 sale, the lie that caused six years of litigation that aided and abetted Nationstar to abuse the HOA quiet litigation process to collect a debt it was not owed from Tobin who did not owe it without foreclosure and disregarding the PUD Rider Remedies (F) provision that prohibits any lender from using the payment of delinquent HIA assessments as a de facto foreclosure Pages 4155-4259
|3/1/22 Steven Scow, Koch & Scow, LLC Part 1 Verified Bar Complaint Scow produced Red Rock’s false evidence in response to Tobin’s Subpoena. It was the hearsay evidence that provided the total support for the HOA’s meritless MSJ that became the “law of the case” and stopped all judicial scrutiny of any verified evidence in the remainder of the 1st action and in both subsequent actions Pages 4260-4354
|Steven Scow Part 2 Verified Bar Complaint Exhibits B-F Red Rock instructed Scow to remit checks for excess proceeds to court but Scow retained millions in proceeds from all Sun City Anthem foreclosures and from all Red Rock foreclosures in multiple other HOAs by disregarding Red Rock’s instructions and NRS 116.31164(3)(c)(2013) statutory mandate that required distribution of all proceeds in 2014. Scow covered up how Red Rock was unjustly enriched by selling directly to investors without conducting public auctions, by not indemnifying the HOA according to contract terms, and by misrepresenting the open meeting law to inattentive or unsophisticated HOA Boards. Pages 4355- 4438
|Steven Scow Part 3 Verified Bar Complaint Exhibits F -H-5 The false evidence Scow gave to the HOA and in response to subpoena covered up that: 1) Red Rock covertly sold the property after rejecting assessments that cured the default three times; 2) the HOA Board did not authorize the sale by valid corporate action; 3) Required notices were not provided, but records were falsified to fake that they had been sent. Pages 4439-4603
|3/6/22 Verified Bar Complaint vs. David Ochoa & Adam Clarkson Sun City Anthem attorneys Exhibits A-D Attorneys deprived Tobin of ADR, then obstructed her litigation and appeal litigation. They misrepresented the false evidence from Red Rock as the HOA’s official records and concealed the HOA’s actual verified records that were inculpatory t Red Rock and of probative value to Tobin’s case. Pages 4604 – 4733
|3/6/22 Verified Bar Complaint vs. David Ochoa & Adam Clarkson Exhibits E, E-1, E-2, 3-3 F Shows how HOA MSJ was meritless for more reasons than because SCA had no standing to file it, i.e., the supporting exhibits include falsified documents produced by Red Rock and conceal the HOA’s real records indicating that Ochoa & Clarkson are working for Red Rock, not for the HOA. Pages 4734 – 4847
|3/6/22 Verified Bar Complaint vs. David Ochoa & Adam Clarkson Exhibits G shows exactly how documents were doctored or just deceptive. G-1 & G-2 show the attorneys advised the HOA Board to act in a manner that did not comply with HOA meeting laws. G-3 shows that SCA Board was told that it was legally required to keep confidential from all SCA owners when Red Rock was intending to sell an SCA property. G-4 shows that in one year, Red Rock secretly sold a dozen houses to investors for less than 20% of their value, and the HOA has no records that any of them were foreclosed or sold under the HOA’s statutory authority or that any amount of money was collected. G-5 shows that no valid Board action approved any of the sales. H shows more disputed facts that were in the HOA’s motion for summary judgment; H-1 shows a comparison with a case in a different HOA with different lenders but many of the same attorneys Pages 4848 – 5046
|9/4/17 Verified Bar Complaint Adam Clarkson & 9/12/17 Bar Rejection Had the State Bar not ignored Tobin’s 1st Bar Complaint against Adam Clarkson for bullying, harassment, representing the interests of the HOA manager against the interests of the HOA, misrepresenting the law to the HOA Board regarding open meeting and notice requirements, years of litigation could have been averted. Pages 242-279
|2/14/21 Joseph Hong And 2/16/21 Brittany Wood Verified Bar Complaints & 3/4/21 Bar Counsel’s Rejection pending Tobin’s submission of a court order with written findings of attorney misconduct. Hong conspired with Melanie Morgan to obstruct the 1st action because neither of their clients had evidence to support their title claims and the way to win was to get rid of Tobin by whatever means. They negotiated a fraudulent side deal, misrepresented it to the court, orchestrated an ex parte meeting with the judge, recorded multiple false claims to title to aid and abet their clients’ fraudulent reconveyance of the property to defraud Tobin. They lied to the district courts and the courts of appeal about Tobin’s standing as an individual to prevent her claims from being heard and to obstruct judicial scrutiny of her verified evidence. Brittany Wood conspired with Joseph Hong and others to cover up that her clients were not bona fide purchasers, but knowingly received the last fraudulent transfer while there were three of Tobin’s lis pendens on record. Wood made multiple intentional misrepresentations of material fact to obstruct Tobin’s claims from being heard on their merits because, if they were fairly heard, her clients would lose both their investment, whatever it was, and the property, because chances are, the title insurance wouldn’t have paid. Pages 280-460
This is a re-print of an email that was circulating this weekend about SB 417, a very anti-homeowner bill that has tentative approval going forward and needs strong opposition from HOA homeowners to turn the tide.
Here is a link to the Nevada State Legislature’s website to get more information or track the bill. If you want to oppose SB 417 directly online, you just register up in the righthand corner. It’s free.
Subject: SCA’S ATTORNEY also is LOBBYIST against you the homeowner. RED FLAG! by Robert Stern.
By allowing Adam Clarkson to serve as the weaponized counsel for SCA to stifle free speech, to abuse power and disrespect the rule of law, the current board members are each one of the evil doers that ignore enforcement of the governing documents if it doesn’t fit their political agenda and goals. It’s even worse as they allow a self-serving COO to exercise her control to protect both hers and Clarkson’s gravy train.
This current board is a disgrace and a huge cancer on the future of SCA as its failed leadership thinks it’s coalition will sustain its mismanagement of power indefinitely. Hopefully the electorate over the next two elections will rid the community of the financially incompetent spenders and their disdain for the homeowners they were elected to govern. Adam Clarkson’s firm ought to be immediately relieved of its duties before more harm is done to homeowners.
Adam Clarkson of the Common Associations Institute, the lobbying arm of HOA management companies, says the state’s Real Estate Division receives “a lot of complaints from people that are just routine fighters,” and noted the bill would allow boards to prevent those people from serving on the board.
“They are not the kind of people who should be on the board,” Clarkson said. “They are not good people.”Adam Clarkson, CAI Lobbyist, SCA attorney & debt collector
What it really is is an assault to stifle homeowner free speech and resistance to bad and fiscally irresponsible governance. Follow the money. Clarkson and his firm represent SCA’s Sandy Seddon and the board in SCA matters. Not good.
Samuel Covelli, a retired corrections officer in Las Vegas, says he was “stonewalled” when he asked his HOA for financial information. “this whole process is horribly slanted against a homeowner.”
The bill allows an association to ban a homeowner from serving on an HOA board for up to 10 years for filing a vexatious, defamatory, or false complaint with the state, and allows board members or staff to use HOA funds to recover compensatory damages, attorneys fees, and costs from a person who takes “retaliatory action,” as determined by the State Real Estate Division( NRED).
And NRED is no friend to the ordinary homeowner. This is an attack against you the homeowner that is designed to ensure attorneys fees and power. Follow the money.
And SCA’s Weaponized counsel under Sandy Seddon and like minded board members must be gotten rid of. It is already happening and Clarkson, Seddon and certain board members must not have censorship power over you. This and future elections matter.
Las Vegas homeowner Michael Kosor says the measure is an assault on the First Amendment and serves to chill opposition to HOA governance. He says it’s also “a rainmaker for the attorneys and management companies.”Las Vegas homeowner Michael Kosor
Kosor says defamatory speech is already prohibited. The legislation, he says, allows the association to determine what is defamatory and gives the association “the ability to censor free speech based on opposing positions from that of the board.” RED FLAG!
Southern Highland’s developer Garry Goett’s Olympia Companies sued Kosor for defamation over statements made on-line and in-person at HOA meetings. Kosor prevailed before the Nevada Supreme Court.
“I’m a retired Air Force colonel fighter pilot with combat experience in the Gulf War,” Kosor testified Tuesday. “This experience defending the attacks of this developer on my family’s financial future was in total the most stressful experience of my life.”retired Air Force colonel fighter pilot Michael Kosor
Kosor contends Goett has erroneously maintained control of the Southern Highlands board. He’s presented what he says is evidence to the state, but NRED has refused to investigate. SB 417 would codify the state’s ability to pick and choose investigations.
Las Vegan Howard McCarley
“There’s an imbalance of power between homeowners and homeowners’ associations and management companies,” Las Vegan Howard McCarley testified in opposition to the bill. “Extensive financial resources are available to associations and managers. Residents are on their own.”
PROTECT YOUR POCKETBOOK AND FREE SPEECH. If you haven’t voted yet, please find your ballot and vote only for Pamela Williams (Ballot position #1) and Rick Ernest (Ballot Position #2). And please ask one more person who hasn’t voted to cast their ballot.
And be ready to support candidates in 2024 that will rid us of Seddon and Clarkson and likeminded board members.
The Community you save may be your own.