Association seeks to foreclose on 'flag man'
Article Courtesy of The Jupiter Courier
By Randall Murray Staff Writer
May 15, 2002

The homeowners association that has battled Jupiter resident George Andres for 18 months over his flag and flagpole has filed foreclosure proceedings against the former Marine in an effort to collect more than $30,000 in fines. 

But Andres' attorney Barry Silver, calling the Indian Creek Phase III-B association "unreasonable and meanspirited," said he does not believe Andres and his wife Ann are in any immediate danger of losing their modest home at 125 Doe Trail. 

"What you have here are unreasonable and meanspirited people who don't know when to let go," Silver said. "We had to have a law passed to get this ridiculous association off the Andres' back. But they disregard the governor and relentlessly pursue this nonsense." 

Andres, 64, has attracted international attention with his fight against the association over a 12-foot flagpole and American flag he erected in his front yard in 2000. 

This week, the association filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the Andres' one-story home for payment of fines and penalties assessed by Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson. Brunson has ruled twice against Andres. 

The association's action was taken in spite of passage in March by Florida's Legislature of a law that prohibits homeowners associations from restricting the display of the American flag by property owners. The law stipulates the flag must be displayed in a "respectful" manner and that the pole be "portable." According to Andres, his flag and pole meet both standards. 

George Andres claimed the association board violated its bylaws by failing to notify him -- or any other Indian Creek property owners -- of the legal action. "In the bylaws, it says all homeowners must be notified about any lien," Andres stated. "This doesn't bother me at all. They don't seem to realize they can't do anything while the case is still in the court." 

West Palm Beach attorney Steven Selz who represents the association, said he was not required to notify either the Andres or any other homeowners. Asked about the new state law, Selz responded, "the new law does not change the fact that there has been a judgment entered (by Brunson). The new law does not undo that." 

Selz said the association will move "as soon as possible" on the foreclosure process that, if completed, could result in the Andres' eviction. Selz put the value of the Andres' home "about $65,000." 

But Ann Andres put the price tag higher -- "at least $80,000," she said. "We put a new kitchen and bathroom in here." They moved into the home in June 1998. 

Silver said he will file an appeal to this action, as well as motions to have the original case reheard. 

"Looks like we'll see them in court soon," Silver said. 

The fight began when the association notified Andres in October 2000 that the flagpole violated association rules. Andres said a previous board had given him permission for the pole. He refused to take it down, and the legal battle ensued. 

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