Court documents from February 2022 show that Northern Meadows Property Owners Association practices go against the Northern Meadows’ Declaration of Protective Covenants and Building Restrictions, which was established in 1996.
Resident Greg Pack took the Northern Meadows POA to court, and the court ruled in his favor by default judgment. However, he says, the organization is not following through steps the court laid out for it.
“They charge people extra money for these services that the court has already ruled is their responsibility,” Pack said. “So there’s a possibility that there could be some other big issues because that would imply that they have provided false and misleading information that have cost property owners money out of their pocket.”
Northern Meadows POA was ordered to pay $34,300 plus court costs and ordered to stop enforcing such guidelines.
“So all these things they have been telling people for years is wrong; they’ve been doing that well after the court order,” Pack said. “If you look through the neighborhood, there are hundreds and hundreds of plants that need to be replaced that are dead … there are people that have been charged, been fined, for not removing dead plants from their front yards, and that’s the association’s responsibility.”
According to part of Judicial District Court Judge George P. Eichwald’s ruling, Northern Meadows POA is obligated to do the following:
• Remove sand from the gravel of all Northern Meadows residents;
• Replace any dead plants in the front yards of all members;
• Provide the same level of maintenance to all members, not just favored members;
• Formulate and publish a plan for complying with its maintenance obligations; and
• Must provide front yard maintenance services to members even if that member is delinquent in making payments.
Despite the ruling, many Northern Meadows residents claim that their POA is still practicing guidelines that go against the Northern Meadows Declaration of Protective Covenants and Building Restrictions, such as having residents pay for replacing dead plants.
“One of my yuccas died, and I had to pay for it; like [Northern Meadows POA], you’re the reason it died,” an anonymous Northern Meadows resident said.
The POA filed an emergency motion to set aside the default judgement in April 2022, which was denied in June 2022.
That same month, the Rio Rancho Observer obtained a response from the POA Board, and with regard to plant removal, the board stated that “these are owned by you and therefore it is the owner’s responsibility to replace these items if they should die or become diseased for any reason other than a lack of irrigation.”
The board’s remarks contradict the ruling made four months prior in the Gregory B. Pack vs. Northern Meadows Property Owners Association, Inc. case.
“That first article, you put stuff in it, and that stuff was false. This was after a court ruling that was issued; they gave you stuff that was a lie,” Pack said.
In May 2023 , the board recently held a Zoom meeting to find a resolution with Northern Meadows residents.
However, according to Pack, that’s not enough nor does it comply with the court ruling, which reads, “Defendant (NMPOA) shall provide to Plaintiff e-mail addresses of all members of the Northern Meadows Property Owners Association, Inc.”
“The court ruled against them; they have to provide the emails, and they still haven’t provided them,” Pack said. “I can’t get the information out to the property owners about what their rights are, what the court stuff is, because they won’t provide it.”
That part of the ruling allows Pack a way to communicate with the residents on the case involving the Northern Meadows POA.
“The association has an unfair advantage of being able to control the flow of information because they can send stuff out to everybody [bvy email] but I can’t get the word out about what’s going on,” Pack said. “They provided me a copy of the names and addresses, but I wanted a copy of email addresses … regular mailing for this size of unit would cost me over $13,000.”
The Northern Meadows POA declined to comment.
This story was written by Rio Rancho Observer correspondent Daniel Zuniga for the Neighborhood Journal.