In my HOA we as a community paid to paint red lines for a fire zone. To get us the residence to approve marking it as a fire zone so no one can park there overnight. The HOA President and representative of the HOA Management company said since more than 70% of the units do not have driveways that it will be okay to park there during the day if we paint the fire zone because this is private property and only the President, Board Members and/or the Management Company could call the police to ticket and/or tow a car parked there. During the day parking is okay, but overnight parking would get the car ticketed and towed.

I had work done on my townhome and they painters needed my garage to paint doors and trim, so during the day I parked as I was told I could. I was ticketed. Is there any precedents that I can use before a judge that legally assist my arguments?

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    Knowing very little about US law in this area, but knowing what I know about "fire zones" in the US, would this "person in authority" from the HOA actually have the authority to overrule local and national laws (if any exist) in this area?
    – user4210
    May 19, 2019 at 21:19
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    @Moo It sounds like the zones are above and beyond what's legally required, though I'm not sure what a fire zone would have to do with being only unable to park there overnight, the whole point is to keep a space clear for a fire engine to park near the building/fire hydrant at all times. May 19, 2019 at 21:38
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    @IllusiveBrian it sounds like they are trying to solve a general parking problem rather than satisfy some desire or law around a requirement to have a marked fire zone, perhaps outsiders parking on the street long term etc. Why they can't simply make the private property a permit parking area and ticket anything without a permit is a puzzle tho.
    – user4210
    May 19, 2019 at 21:54
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    If this is a legal fire lane, there is probably a massive fine for parking there and nobody can authorize parking there, Possibly the HOA President is subject to s fine for authorizing such parking. What municipality is this?
    – user6726
    May 19, 2019 at 22:21
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    Is it really a fire lane or is it just randomly painted red? May 24, 2019 at 1:12

1 Answer 1



Let me paraphrase: This guy in apparent authority said it was OK to rob this bank - is there some argument I can use to stop going to jail?

By and large, nobody can authorize you to break the law.

  • It would appear, though, that you could sue the HOA for providing incorrect information to members: the damages would be the fine and any legal costs. Aug 2, 2019 at 21:26
  • @TimLymington you wouldn’t succeed. You have a duty to know what the law is, relying on someone else’s incorrect interpretation doesn’t make them responsible (unless they are your lawyer but lawyers rarely give unequivocal advice)
    – Dale M
    Aug 2, 2019 at 21:30

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