Association Not Liable for Attack in Gated Community

Association Not Liable for Attack in Gated Community



 

Members of a gated community sued the homeowners association for negligence after they were attacked in the home of one member by a known assailant. The members claimed that the homeowners association, which managed, maintained, and controlled the premises, failed to maintain an adequate level of security at the two entrance gates of the community. The court granted the association's request to dismiss the case without a trial.

The members appealed and lost. Entry into the community through either of its two entrances required the use of a magnetic key card system for which only residents received cards. Residents were issued distinct community identification cards, and security cameras recorded the entrances of nonresidents. The community also was patrolled by local police department officers, who demanded ID from visitors and permitted them only if they had received authorization from a resident of the community. The association had issued memos to the police officers to bar entry to the attacker and provided a photo that was posted in the local precinct and the security booths at the community gates. The attacker's name didn't appear on the call-in log sheet for the date in question, and no one staffing the patrol booth that day had seen him enter the community. The association had met its duty to minimize the foreseeable danger from criminal acts at the community [Diaz v. Sea Gate Association, Inc., September 2012].

Topics