Evan Miller


Homeowners associations (“HOAs”) are a foundational piece of life in the United States for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. These planned communities provide stable living arrangements that many homeowners desire, and protect buyers’ expectations of a neighborhood’s character. Despite the ostensibly beneficial goals of HOAs, they have generated substantial controversy. Columbia, Missouri, was the backdrop of a garden-variety HOA dispute between Ajay Aggarwal and Megha Garg (“the Homeowners”) and the Arrowhead Lake Estates Homeowners Association (“Arrowhead”). The Homeowners submitted a plan for several outdoor improvements but failed to include a small shed that would cover pool equipment. After a trial judge’s denial of a substantial sum of attorney fees, the parties litigated whether the HOA should receive its attorney fees. What originally seemed like a petty dispute over a small shack became a four-year march through all three levels of Missouri’s judicial system to arrive at a result that may frustrate future litigants and harm homeowners.

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