A brief explanation of civil lawsuits and where to file them
A North Myrtle Beach veteran is suing his home owners association after being denied the right to fly an American flag on a freestanding pole, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Robert Huey, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Dashenna Huey asked permission to fly an American flag on a portable and removable flagpole, but were denied by Palms 5th Avenue Homeowners Association Inc., the lawsuit states.
The HOA’s Architectural Review Board said the flagpole and flag would “quickly dominate the appearance” of the neighborhood, where the allowed small flag mounts on a home “confine the appearance and ownership of the flag to that residence, according to the lawsuit. The board said the flag could lead to a contest between property owners as to “who has the largest flagpole or the best flagpole” and that flags could be raised that others may find offensive, like a Confederate battle flag, the suit states.
The Hueys claim the reasons for not allowing the flag on a flagpole are arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable, the suit states.
In the HOA’s covenants and restrictions, the lawsuit states, there are no guidelines or rules relating to displaying the American flag by an owner. The suit goes on to say the architectural board claims the flag is a sign prohibited by the covenants and restrictions.
South Carolina law states: “Regardless of any restrictive covenant, declaration, rule, contractual provision or other requirement concerning flags or decorations found in a deed, contract, lease, rental agreement, or homeowners’ association document, any homeowner or tenant may display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful manner.”
The Palms 5th Avenue HOA was originally Carriage Oaks Property Owners Association in 1999, the lawsuit states.