The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton
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I handle real estate, HOA, and property-rights disputes at the trial and appellate levels in Texas and Washington State. I spearhead short-term rental litigation in Texas, against both cities and HOA's.

I never represent HOA's. The HOA system is fundamentally flawed as a method of privatized local government. Nevertheless, I work within the law and the legal system to protect and defend homeowners.

I handle appeals in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, Texas intermediate appellate courts, and the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

My caseload is overwhelmingly property-rights oriented, particularly as regards leasing and short-term leasing, but also architectural and construction issues, particularly involving decisions by architectural control committees. I blog about these issues on this site.

Homeowner Wins in City Short-Term Rental Ban cases

In June 2023, decisions by the Texas Supreme Court and 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in cases brought by my clients upheld homeowners' right to challenge city bans on short-term rentals. More detail is on
the blog.

Another Homeowner Win in Texas Supreme Court -- HOA Boards Cannot Force a Suiting Homeowner to Sue All Other Owners for the Board's Actions

On May 12, 2023, my clients Chris and Roxana Kappmeyer
prevailed in the Texas Supreme Court, reversing trial and appellate courts which, in a clear abuse of discretion, sided with an HOA.

The Kappmeyers sued their HOA because the HOA's board, without any vote by the homeowners generally, gave itself vast new powers. The Kappmeyers, when they bought their land, never signed up for an all-powerful HOA with assessment, rule-making, and foreclosure powers, so they sought to have the board's "amendment" to the deed restrictions declared unenforceable against them. However, the HOA, no doubtwishing to avoid having the merits of the dispute addressed, asked the trial court to require the Kappmeyers to sue
all 700 other homeowners before being allowed to proceed. That would cost in the range of $100,000 in administrative costs. Yet the trial court agreed with the HOA and ordered the Kappmeyers to sue 700 people or else have their case dismissed. The court of appeals did too.

The Texas Supreme Court reversed. It held that an HOA has to prove
which other homeowners actually claim an interest in a lawsuit before forcing a plaintiff to sue other owners. It also held that an order requiring that all homeowners be sued is an unfair financial burden on a homeowner seeking to have his or her own rights protected.

The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton