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Liberty Commons — A Communist Empire? Part 3

The following letter of appeal was sent to Liberty Commons’ Board of Trustees (John Lind, Bob Castle, James Hutchinson, and Paul Weizer) and Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) to appeal an unsubstantiated and unwarranted fine for an alleged infraction on May 12, 2014.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Board of Trustees
Liberty Commons Condominium Trust
c/o Empire Condominium Professionals
33 Lyman Street Suite 210
Westborough, MA 01581

Reference: Appeal of Fine — May 12, 2014 — Alleged “Harassment of Tenants of ## Berrington Road”

Dear John Lind, Robert Castle, James Hutchinson, and Paul Weizer:

This is a formal appeal of the fine issued by Board of Trustees on behalf of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust on May 13, 2014, levied against me for an alleged violation of the Rules and Regulations, specifically Section 1 of Article 3 — Actions of Owners, that reads:

“No noxious or offensive activities shall be carried on in any Unit or in the Common Elements, nor shall anything be done therein either willingly or negligently, which may be or become any annoyance or nuisance to the other Owners or occupants. No Owner or occupant shall make or permit any disturbing noises in buildings by himself, his family, servants, employees, agents, visitors and licensee, nor do or permit anything by such persons that will interfere with the rights, comforts, or convenience of other Owners or occupants. No Owner or occupant shall play upon, or suffer to be played upon, any musical instrument or operate or suffer to be operated a phonograph, television set, radio, or other electronic devise on the premises causing disturbance to other Owners or occupants.”

I have not violated Section 1 of Article 3 — Actions of Owners of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust’s Rules and Regulations. The Board of Trustees’ findings are completely without merit and are baseless, for the following reasons:

  1. If, what the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) are alleging the tenant in Unit ## and/or the Unit Owners said in their violation notice is truthful and accurate, then I am going to be very direct in saying that the tenant in Unit ## and/or Unit Owners are extremely “truth challenged” about the content and tone of the alleged conversation in question.
  2. In the subject of the violation notice, the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) state “Harassment of Tenants of ## Berrington Road”. However, the legal definition of “harassment” is defined as “the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious.” One conversation between two or more parties would not be considered harassment. Use of such a word is prejudicial and inflammatory.
  3. At the time of the said complaint, the tenant in Unit ## was in violation of four Rules and Regulations and no apparent enforcement action has taken place against them.
  4. I did not pose as “a figure of authority for Liberty Commons.” In fact, in the brief conversation, the tenant asked me if I was “a person of authority?” My response was direct and clear, I said “No. I am a Unit Owner.”
  5. At no time did I “threatened to have their vehicle towed and/or booted,” nor did I make any threats or anything that could be construed as a threat. As you are well aware, Unit Owners cannot have vehicles towed from Liberty Commons’ property, only a Trustee and/or the Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) can authorize such an action. The “boot” part of their alleged allegation is utterly ludicrous.
  6. The Board of Trustees and the Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) are basing their judgement solely on hearsay from either the tenant themselves or secondhand hearsay from the Unit Owners who were not present nor a party to the conversation. Neither, would be permissible in a court of law, which are the standards that must be applied in any fine at Liberty Commons, should an appeal and/or mediation fail to produce fair and unbiassed determinations then legal avenues would be the next logical step.
  7. The Board of Trustees nor Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professional) have no corroboration of the alleged conversation, and therefore have no basis for their findings of any violation against me, and are based upon nothing but hearsay.
  8. If the tenant in Unit ## truly felt “threatened” as they seemingly allege according to what was documented by the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) in the violation notice, then the logical action would have been to immediately call the Leominster Police Department and report the alleged incident. To my knowledge, that did not occur.
  9. While the tenant in Unit ##’s continuous four violations required a prolonged discussion by the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals), fining me took no or minimal discussion at all. Why? Because the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) have an established, clear, and strong bias against me for holding the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent accountable to the Unit Owners of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust. Just a few pieces of communications alone demonstrates this as a fact.
  10. The Board of Trustees and Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals)’s determination and application of the aforementioned rule to a single conversation as noxious or offensive activities do not meet a legal threshold1, as your attempted application would not withstand legal definitions1 nor scrutiny of noxious or offensive activities.
  11. As provided for and required in Liberty Commons Condominium Trust’s Compliance Procedure, as written by me and adopted by the Board of Trustees, on February 18, 2004:
    1. Only Unit Owners are able to file a complaint and said complaint must be in writing. If said Unit Owner did so, which I question, it would have been secondhand hearsay, as they were not a party to the alleged conversation. We all know what happens when a story is repeated and retold to additional parties.
    2. The Managing Agent must verify the Unit Owner’s complaint. Since neither a Trustee, the Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professional), nor any other third-party were present, no verification nor corroboration could occur and therefore no fine should have been issued in this matter. I was not even contacted with respect to this alleged conversation, and therefore it is clear that the Board of Trustees and our Managing Agent (Empire Condominium Professionals) are basing their determinations on an assumption of guilt without any basis of facts, but rather a strong bias against me.
    3. No notice of non-compliance was issued to me. Contrary to Juanita Lofton’s assertion of such, the email sent to me and dated May 12, 2014, contained no warning for the alleged violation to which I was fined. In fact, content of the email message dated May 12, 2014, contained no warning whatsoever and rather contained the following information “All matters have been referred to the board for discussion. As to the specifics of the situation, due to privacy issues, those will not be provided.” that is informational about the disposition of a complaint with respect to the violations of the tenant in Unit ## and can in no way be construed as a warning. It certainly does not meet the standards set forth in the Compliance Procedure.
  12. Liberty Commons Condominium Trust’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws does not contain any provision(s) that eliminate my First Amendment constitutional rights under United States of America’s Bill of Rights. This matter has already been decided and documented in case law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding condominium associations and Unit Owners.
  13. Liberty Commons Condominium Trust’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws does not contain any provision(s) that eliminate my Fifth Amendment constitutional rights under United States of America’s Bill of Rights. The tenant nor the Unit Owners of Unit ## have not proven their case for their outlandish allegations they have made against me.

Therefore, in conclusion, based upon the lack of actual facts, findings, and the failure to determine burden of proof, the fine against me should be not have been issued and should be rescinded immediately.

I anticipate your prompt2 determination and positive findings in my favor, so this matter can be put behind us and so no further steps are required to resolve this matter.

Based upon a legal consultation, I will pay the fine to avoid any additional fees being accrued. However, I expect a prompt2 refund upon the determination of insufficient evidence to issue a fine in this matter. However, understand that payment of said fine does not determine any guilt nor any admission of guilt, as I have not violated any of the Master Deed, the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, nor any other governing document or provisions of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust.

Sincerely,
Steve Stearns
cc. File for Attorneys


1 The alleged actions in the violation notice, do not meet the legal threshold nor interruption of noxious nor offensive in legal dictionaries or definition.
2 “Prompt” in generally accepted business and legal terms means ten (10) business days or less.

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