Court Reverses HOA Judgment for $31,500 in Fines Against Owners After Finding that Owners’ Chickens Were “Pets” and not “Poultry.”

This case involves a dispute between two homeowners (“Owners”) and their homeowners association (“Association”) over Owners’ right to keep chickens on their property, which was located in a common interest community that was governed by Association in accordance with its governing documents. Association’s governing documents contained a restrictive covenant entitled “LIVESTOCK” that purported to limit animals that could be kept on properties within the community. The covenant stated:

A maximum of three horses may be kept and stabled on any lot or combination of adjoining lots under common ownership…. No other animals, livestock, or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred, or kept on any lot, except that dogs, cats, or other household pets, may be kept provided that they (including horses) are not kept, bred, or maintained for any commercial purpose. No dog kennels of any type shall be kept or maintained on the property. (emphasis added)

Following an internal hearing, Association found Owners to be in violation of the above covenant by maintaining chickens (poultry) on their property.  Association imposed a continuing fine of $100 per day on Owners for each day that Owners continued to raise the chickens on their property. When the fines reached in excess of $30,000 Owners moved the chickens off their property and filed suit against  Association seeking a declaratory judgment that their flock of “pet” chickens did not violate the subject covenant, and sought an injunction prohibiting Association from enforcing the covenant against them.

In their action, Owners contended:

Subscription Required to Continue Reading

To view the full HOA Featured Article, you must have a Subscription with HOA Member Services

Become a Member

Personal Monthly

$ 12.70 /month
  • Access to over 600 Articles & Case Decisions
  • Access to hundreds of Resources
  • HOA Newsletter
  • Free Copy of HOA LIVING
  • 25% OFF Download Forms
  • 1 User

Personal

$ 97 Annual
  • Access to over 600 Articles & Case Decisions
  • Access to hundreds of Resources
  • HOA Newsletter
  • Free Copy of HOA LIVING
  • 25% OFF Download Forms
  • 1 User

Pro

$ 297 Annual
  • Access to over 600 Articles & Case Decisions
  • Access to hundreds of Resources
  • HOA Newsletter
  • Free Copy of HOA LIVING
  • Free Unlimited Access to Download Forms (save $1000s!)
  • Unlimited Personal Support from HOA Attorney
  • 1 User

HOA Team

$ 347 Annual
  • Access to over 600 Articles & Case Decisions
  • Access to hundreds of Resources
  • HOA Newsletter
  • Free Copy of HOA LIVING
  • Free Unlimited Access to Download Forms (save $1000s!)
  • Unlimited Personal Support from HOA Attorney
  • Up to 10 Users

Get Your FREE
HOA Living Guide

 Get ready to level up your community! Dive into our guide for homeowners and management personnel in neighborhoods run by homeowners associations. Download now for essential tips and exclusive resources— improve your community with one click! 

Success, check your email for your guide!

Scroll to Top