As a resident of Callawassie Island, I was flabbergasted by your recent page-one story about us. The legal case involves a resident who enjoyed our amenities until he didn’t want to pay any more. The article implied that the decision of the court would allow members to resign their membership immediately. In fact, the appeals court sent the case back to the lower court because of “some ambiguity in the governing documents …”
Unfortunately, the court also referenced the S.C. Nonprofit Corporation Act, which seems to imply that anyone can resign membership in any nonprofit organization. This would seem to have an impact not just on all communities like Callawassie, but homeowners’ and property owners’ associations. Imagine a condo owner who decides to stop paying HOA fees, letting the other owners pay for him. It seems doubtful that the court fully understood the impact of its reference to the act.
The residents on Callawassie also have a problem with the sheer joy exhibited in the story. There seemed to be no problem with the litigants appealing the lower court’s decision, but a problem with Callawassie appealing to the S.C. Supreme Court. And to call our structure a “ponzi scheme” is really objectionable as ponzi schemes are not just illegal but felonies.
And the court’s reference to the “Hotel California” was cute but entirely inaccurate. The homeowner here wants to check out but he doesn’t want to leave. No, he wants the rest of us to keep up his property value.