HOA rules, flag fight could force vet from home

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HOA rules, flag fight could force vet from home

 The Stars and Stripes are at the center of controversy, at least at Larry Murphree's home. 

“I want it to go away. It's such a minor little thing and they keep coming after me,” he explained.

“They” is Murphree's homeowner's association. He's lived in the Sweetwater community near Jacksonville, Florida, for years, and been at odds with the HOA for more than two over a small American flag.

The veteran decided to put one in his flower pot, and has been fined as a result.

“They just sent me a letter that says I owe them around $8,000 and they put a foreclosure lien on my house,” Murphree said.

But is it possible, that an HOA can fine and then put a foreclosure lien on a home?

“There’s an actual Florida statute that says he can display this flag,” legal and safety expert, Dale Carson said.

Federal law from 2005 also backs that up.

When questioned, attorney Michelle Haines from the law office that represents the HOA said, if payment is not made within 30 days, the law office can move forward with foreclosure on Murphree's home.

Last year, after a similar fight, Murphree filed a lawsuit and settled out of court, but the HOA flag display rules have been rewritten since then.

Murphree said he won't stop until he can freely fly his flag. 

“When I first moved here, I loved it. it was wonderful. But it got where I’m being nitpicked more and more," he said.  "I’ve lost a lot of friends and neighbors moving out. I don't want to move."

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