Flag-flying Marine vet could lose home
Judge favors homeowners association
which prohibits poles

Posted: September 11, 2003
Article Courtesu of 

A U.S. Marine veteran is once again in danger of losing his home in a neighborhood feud over flying an American flag. 

George Andres of Jupiter, Fla., who has been warring with his homeowners association for the past four years, faced a setback yesterday when a Palm Beach County judge ruled the association could go forward with a foreclosure sale next month to collect legal fees, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. 

Andres vowed to appeal the latest ruling. 

"We are going to fight," he told the Florida paper. 

As WorldNetDaily reported, Andres was granted a reprieve in May when Circuit Judge Edward Fine agreed to reconsider his order authorizing the foreclosure. 

As the Memorial Day weekend approached, Andres got a congratulatory phone call from Gov. Jeb Bush, who had visited him on Flag Day last year. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist was dispatched to South Florida to help Andres celebrate his May victory after 23 court hearings and thousands of dollars in fines had accrued. 

Crist's office argued Andres' home was constitutionally protected under the state's homestead law from foreclosure by a homeowners association attempting to collect a legal debt. 

Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush celebrates Flag Day with Marine veteran George Andres

Yesterday, however, Fine rejected that argument and found the association's right to file a lien against the property was established in 1982, six years before Andres purchased his home, the Sun-Sentinel said. 

Andres' homeowners association, which prohibits flagpoles, filed a lien on the property to collect approximately $21,000 in attorneys' fees and legal costs. Andres has a 12-foot flagpole in his front yard. 

Defending the homeowners association, West Palm Beach attorney Steven Selz insisted "there has to be a way to give the association a right to enforce its claims on the property," the Florida paper reported. 

George Andres 

Andres' attorney Barry Silver said he would file an appeal but hopes his client will agree to a settlement rather than lose his home, which is scheduled to be auctioned Oct. 9. 

Previous settlement offers required too much compromise, Andres told the Sun-Sentinel. 

"They said remove the flag and the flagpole, and that is not a compromise," Andres said. "I'm 66, and I don't have much left anyhow. We have to go ahead and fight." 

Last year, Gov. Bush signed into law a bill prompted by Andres' legal troubles. It allows residents to fly an American flag "in a respectful manner" regardless of association rules. 

The Florida legislature made the bill retroactive to apply to Andres' situation, but it was passed long after a lien was filed and the homeowners' association won its case. In April, the judge hearing the case ruled foreclosure proceedings could move ahead despite the new law. 

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