Veteran says HOA retaliating against him over lawsuit victory

Veteran says HOA retaliating against him over lawsuit victory

Billy Martin, who’s been at odds with his HOA for months, thought a recent court ruling meant that his fighting days were finally over.

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by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 11:20 PM

HOUSTON — Billy Martin, who’s been at odds with his HOA for months, thought a recent court ruling meant that his fighting days were finally over.

But the Vietnam veteran found out during a recent board meeting that nothing could be farther from the truth.

“They’re trying to retaliate against me,” said Martin, while sharing cell phone video that shows a police officer escorting him out of the meeting and placing him in handcuffs.

Martin was detained briefly and then allowed to walk free.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen and I knew I had done nothing wrong,” he said.

But Martin believes board members at the Forest Lake Townhome Association have it in for him because he prevailed in court over the right to fly his American flag.

Last May, the organization began fining Martin $200 a day, and filed a lawsuit claiming the flagpole violated community bi-laws because it stood on property owned by the HOA. Last week, a judge tossed out the lawsuit and Martin says he’s been harassed by board members and their supporters ever since.

“But now I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m mad,” Martin said.

Martin recently filed his own lawsuit charging the HOA with violating his civil rights.

In the meantime, he’s savoring the fact that he can finally hoist his flag without the fear of another fine.

“This flag means to me that we still have freedom in this country,” he said.

The president of the Forest Lake Townhome Association declined to comment for this story, and the attorney for the organization did not return calls.

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