Re: Last resort dealing with very difficult member
From: Joanie Connors (
Date: Sun, 17 May 2015 07:11:45 -0700 (PDT)
It sounds like it is time to talk to a lawyer.

But after doing so and learning their options, I would encourage them to
try mediation.

On Sat, May 16, 2015 at 5:59 PM, Fred-List manager <fholson [at]>

> 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?
> Thanks,
> Disappointed it's come to this, but it has.
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