Madison man forced to vacate home after losing court fight with homeowner’s association

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Madison resident Douglas Pegues has been in his Shamrock Drive home for 11 years, but Tuesday he began living in a hotel until he sorts out a court dispute that has pushed him out of that house.

A retired Boeing engineer, Pegues has been in a series of court cases with the Shamrock Homeowners Association beginning in 2012. He contends the homeowners’ association covenant that requires dues that began at $50 a month, is only valid if the association establishes “common property” for the neighborhood. Specifically, he argues, a pool and office that haven’t been built.

The dispute also includes a complex disagreement about property adjacent to Pegues property and what he was allowed to do with it.

After three rounds of lawsuits filed against Pegues, he had succeeded in not having to pay back dues to the association, but was also ordered to pay dues going forward.

Another lawsuit filed by the association in 2014 had a different outcome.

The association won the case and Pegues was ordered to pay just over $3,000 in dues, interest and fees and $10,000 in attorney’s fees.

He appealed, but lost the appeal last year. The homeowner’s association moved to have the judgment paid. It obtained a writ, showing the final judgment, from the Madison County Clerk of Court that was then given to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff began the process of advertising the house for auction, putting a notice in Speaking Out News for three weeks.

The association’s attorney Jonathan Watson said Pegues had been informed at each step what was happening to collect the judgment.

Pegues said he was shocked when he was notified there was an effort to sell his house.

Court records show there was an auction at the courthouse in April and Watson was the only bidder with a $500 bid.

Pegues was notified by letter in May that he had 10 days to vacate the property. He owns the house outright, but with the $13,000 judgment unpaid, he had to leave his home in order to preserve his rights to redeem the property.

Basically, he has to pay to the outstanding judgment against him in order to return to his home.

But Pegues also says the fight isn’t over, he said he’ll settle the judgment and then look at other legal moves.

Watson issued a statement to WHNT News 19 on the matter Wednesday:

"A lawsuit was filed in 2014, as Mr. Pegues had refused to honor his contractual obligations to the HOA. Every member of the HOA is required, per the Restrictive Covenants, to pay assessment fees and to observe building restrictions. Mr. Pegues did not abide by these terms.

“The Association won the lawsuit and acquired a judgment against Mr. Pegues. Mr. Pegues appealed and lost. He has refused to pay and satisfy this judgment. As such, the Association has taken lawful and reasonable action to recover the judgment against Mr. Pegues.  He has been informed and has received notice throughout each stage of this process. He has nonetheless refused to act.

“The current situation is the complete result of Mr. Pegues's failure to act. The Association will continue to pursue its rights under the law and pursuant to the restrictive covenants on behalf of its members."