Picking this story up from My Fox Tampa Bay today is the story about A.J. Vizzi- a man who like so many of us- just wants to park his truck in his driveway.
DESSA, Fla. - It's hard to believe that A.J. Vizzi spent nearly $200,000 defending his right to park his own pickup truck in his own driveway.
When he first moved in back in 1997, Vizzi was told that parking his large truck in the driveway wasn't against the subdivision's rules. But years later, the Eagles Masters Association, which governs the entire community, said it did violate their rules and therefore, the truck had to go.
It didn't end there. Knowing the truck did not fit in his garage, Vizzi decided to stand his ground.
The homeowners association sued Vizzi, and for two exhausting years, the two parties battled in court.
"They just didn't care," Vizzi told FOX 13. "It was like, 'our rules overrule what your community says because we're a master association and, you know, we're right and you're wrong.' I couldn't believe I had to go hire an attorney just to defend myself against this, what was a meritless lawsuit."
In December of 2008, Vizzi and his family got an early Christmas present: A judge ruled in their favor. It was finally over, they thought. But the homeowners association appealed the decision, and off to court they went once again.
Finally, in March of this year, A.J. won again and a judge awarded him more than $187,000 in legal fees just this week.
"I think what people should take away from this is that homeowners should be left alone unless it’s a very serious issue," Vizzi's attorney, Dan Anderson said. "And, certainly, requiring a homeowner to spend over two hundred thousand dollars to defend themselves simply to park a vehicle in the driveway just doesn't make any sense at all."
Despite the cash, it's Vizzi parking his truck in his own driveway that remains the biggest victory of all.
"I think that maybe I was just being bullied by this group," said Vizzi, "and maybe now they'll think twice."
In a news release from his law firm, Anderson said the association will have incurred more than $300,000 in legal fees and costs after paying the Vizzis. He said the Vizzis regret the fact that the homeowners will end up paying the bill, but had no other choice aside from giving in to the association's demands.
MyFox Tampa Bay]
How ridiculous do you think this is? I have to say I sympathize with Mr. Vizzi and would likely do the same- fight for what so many have- parking in your driveway. Good for you, A.J.!