Real Estate & Property Law

Homeowners Who Spent $220K in Legal Fees to Fight $2K HOA Lawn Bill Win Court Case After 11 Years

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Fighting a $2,212 bill for lawn resodding from their homeowner association seemed, to a Florida couple, like the thing to do.

But that was more than a decade ago, and it remains to be seen whether Ed and Billye Simmons, who have prevailed in their court case after 11 years of litigation, will get anything close to the $220,000 in attorney’s fees and costs he tells the Tampa Bay Times they spent on the legal battle.

Last week, a state-court judge in Hillsborough County held that the Pebble Creek Homeowners Association didn’t follow its own governing documents when charging the couple for the lawn work and, eventually, liening their property.

They have been awarded $85,000 in damages and a hearing will be held later to determine how much they should get in attorney’s fees. Meanwhile, no champagne corks are popping.

“A $2,212 grass bill and I spent almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend?” said Ed Simmons. “It just doesn’t sound right. This has been an absolute nightmare.”

Simmons said he now hopes to sell the house.

The president of the association referred the newspaper’s request for comment to attorney Ricky L. Thacker, who did not respond.

Related coverage: “Jailed Over Brown Lawn, 66-Year-Old Returns Home to Beautiful Yard”

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