Last resort dealing with very difficult member
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Sat, 16 May 2015 16:59:18 -0700 (PDT)
The author of the message below prefers not to identify
themselves and their community so it was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Many communities have had difficult members. Usually members who do
not like the people and/or the process eventually leave. But what are
one's options when they don't and won't? I'm talking about a situation
that has persisted after years of good faith attempts to mediate,
facilitate, outreach, accomodate, non-violently communicate: you name
it. And we still have a member who is contentious, adversarial,
litigious: threats of lawsuits, unfounded allegations taken to local
police and courts (even when always found to be baseless). Someone
whose presence is experienced as a drain on community time, energy,
money, and happiness. The only plausible reason I can think of, for
staying where you don't like the people or the process, is a
personality that thrives on drama and victimhood. What then?

Our community is long-built, and otherwise runs smoothly and happily:
lots of good people (including a number of mental-health
professionals), and good process.  We accomodate a diversity of
opinions and approaches, but this works best within our process, not
for a situation where the dissident places themselves outside the
group, and not quietly. This party has truly burned most of us out,
and we find it hard to take any more.

I think perhaps co-ops can evict someone, but I believe the rest of us
-- homeowners' associations, nonprofits, etc -- cannot do so. Has
anyone ever successfully dealt with such a last-resort scenario? Our
documents say if you are an Owner, you are a Member. Nonpayment of
assessments can lead to loss of privileges to use common facilities
and participate in decision making. But if assessments are paid, we
don't seem to have any other tools for denying community rights, much
less causing departure.

Any relevant experiences or advice?

Disappointed it's come to this, but it has.

On May 16, 2015, at 12:52 PM, Fred H Olson wrote:

> On Sat, 16 May 2015, _____________________________:
>> In the case of asking advice about an internal problem, can a post
>> be made without naming the specific community (except to the
>> moderator)?
>> __________________
>> __________________
> _________________
> What I have done on occasion is have the post sent to me dierectly
> and make I'll make sure there is no identifying information and then
> I'd put some general introductory comment and post it.
> Fred
> --
> Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
>     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
> My Link Pg:         My org:
> Communications for Justice -- Free, superior listserv's w/o ads

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