Using the Courts
Using the courts to resolve a dispute costs money, time, and personal resources (like taking time off from work, for example.) Furthermore, the outcome is unpredictable. The homeowner who loses in court may have to pay not only his/her own costs but may be required to pay the other party’s costs, e.g. the association’s. Despite these risks, sometimes the courts may be the only means of settling an intractable dispute.
Homeowners who decide to use the courts have two choices: (1) to represent themselves in court or (2) to find a lawyer to represent them. Homeowners may find it costs fewer dollars to represent themselves in court, but the real costs will be in the time it takes to research the relevant laws, to understand the rules of evidence, to assemble documents, evidence, and witnesses, and to master court procedures.
Being Your Own Lawyer
There are many resources to help homeowners who decide they want to “be their own lawyer.” Resources include
Hiring a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is a challenge. Homeowners will want to find one who knows the laws governing California homeowner associations, who is a consumer advocate, and whose services are affordable. Among the places to look:
Limited Scope Representation