My HOA sued me over 3 lawn ornaments – I racked up $15,000 in fines, it’s just not fair that I was being ‘targeted’ | Englishheadline


A HOMEOWNER’s Association has been pursuing legal action against a resident for the lawn ornaments in her yard, handing out nearly $15,000 in fines.

Bonnie and Wayne Anderson are residents of The Villages Community Development in Florida, and they are fighting back against their HOA’s fines and citations.

Bonnie and her husband put up a small white cross in their lawn that has lead to over four years of legal battles


Bonnie and her husband put up a small white cross in their lawn that has lead to over four years of legal battlesCredit: FOX 35
The couple is still in court, fighting fines and citations from their HOA which ordered them to remove the cross


The couple is still in court, fighting fines and citations from their HOA which ordered them to remove the crossCredit: FOX 35

Bonnie is one of a few residents who have been contacted by the association, but she is the only one who has been pushing back through legal methods.

In 2020, her HOA sued her and her husband for having three lawn ornaments on their property, one of which was a small white cross.

She complied, taking down the decorations she considered ornements, but left up the cross.

“It means my Christian faith,” she told a local Fox News affiliate.

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To her, the cross is not an ornament, rather an expression of her beliefs as a Christian.

According to Bonnie, the order to remove the cross came after an anonymous complaint was issued to the HOA.

“Someone just driving by that doesn’t like the cross [and] complains anonymously to the Villages. So, they come out and tell you, ‘you have to remove it,’” she said.

Bonnie is joined by her neighbor Virginia Jacobs in being told to remove their crosses, but Jacobs complied.

“They also complained about my cross a long time ago and I took it away for 30 days and I put it back out,” explained Anderson’s neighbor.

She continued: “I feel it’s unfair, I think she’s being targeted.”

Since refusing to remove the cross, Anderson has racked up nearly $15,000 in fines that she does not plan on paying until a court mandates her to.

In fact, she expected to take the issue to court and win.

Her husband explained that they think the HOA’s actions are illegal on two fronts.

The first is that it violates both state and federal law, which allows for “reasonable” ornamentation regardless of HOA contracts.

He further claims that the HOA is not treating all households with ornamentation the same, which is grounds for discrimination.

“Allowing one homeowner to display ornaments while telling the next-door neighbors they cannot is called ‘selective enforcement’ and a form of discrimination.

And this is also against the law. The courts have ruled it’s one law for everyone – not for a select few,” explained Wayne to Villages News.

The couple has been in legal battles with the HOA ever since.

In 2022 they argued that being told to remove the cross is a violation of the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

A judge ruled against this argument and gave them 30 days to submit another claim.

A trial date was set for mid-August of this year and has been upheld after mediation between the two parties failed in June.

The couple hired a new law firm to represent them in 2022, Bogin, Munns & Munns of Orlando.

Following hiring the new firm, Wayne spoke to The Villages News.

“As always, we are so heartened by the widespread and ongoing support that we’ve received from our fellow Villagers, including the thousands who proudly display the little white cross at their homes. We will not let them down. We won’t surrender. We have just begun to fight!” he said.

And continue to fight they are.

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Nearly four years after the fight first began, the couple is set to begin jury trial proceedings in January of 2024 against their homeowner’s association.

Neither party immediately responded to a request for comment by the U.S. Sun.

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