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Flag trumps homeowner association foreclosure of Florida ex-Marine's home

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  • Publius
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2003
      Flag trumps foreclosure

      By Bill Douthat, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

      Saturday, May 24, 2003

      JUPITER -- The governor, the state's attorney general and a chief circuit judge made sure that a spat over flying Old Glory wouldn't cause a Jupiter veteran from losing his home.

      George Andres, who has been battling his homeowners association over the right to fly the American flag in his yard, got a reprieve Friday from Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Edward Fine. The judge halted the foreclosure of Andres' home, scheduled to be sold at a courthouse auction Thursday.

      "I feel outstanding," said Andres, who has challenged his homeowners association through 23 court hearings during the past four years over his flagpole.

      Soon after Fine's ruling was announced, Andres received a congratulatory phone call from Gov. Jeb Bush and a visit from Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist. The ruling came just around the corner from Memorial Day.

      "It's a great day for justice for this ex-Marine, and I'm so proud to stand by him," Crist said as he stood in Andres' yard with an American flag and a smaller Marine Corps flag waving from the controversial flagpole in the background.

      Andres' erection of a flagpole, instead of the approved hanging bracket, raised the ire of his homeowners association board but has made him a celebrity among patriotic groups.

      "He's very patriotic, but what he doesn't understand is that everyone has to live by the rules," said Steven Selz, attorney for the Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowners Association.

      Selz said he sought foreclosure of George and Ann Andres' home because the association spent $30,000 in legal fees defending its rules. In August 2001, a circuit judge agreed with the association, concluding that the flagpole Andres installed on his front lawn violated homeowner restrictions. The association then filed a lien against the Andres' home for legal fees.

      The Florida . . . .




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