HOA v. The Doctor
English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre and taken by me Zir (talk) 23:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC) Please credit © zir.com if used outside of Wikipedia Category:Doctor Who images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Homeowner Associations exist to manage planned communities. Part of that duty is to enforce the restrictive covenants of the community. One Florida Homeowner received a notice of a violation from his HOA for his time machine. Specifically a life-sized replica of The TARDIS from Doctor Who which had been used in the couple’s themed wedding was placed in the driveway of their home. While I have never seen a restrictive covenant that prohibits the placement of space and/or time vehicles on lots, frequently there are restrictions regarding “structures” built on a lot. Sometimes those are specific such as no mobile homes or have specific parameters, such as no fences beyond the front corner of the house. Other times they are more general and even vague requiring the structure “fit into the general appearance and scheme of the community.” Often, there is an architectural committee who has the job of approving or rejecting proposed structures. Even when a HOA board refuses to act on a violation, any other owner of a lot in the community has the ability to bring a lawsuit based on the restrictive covenants for any structure in violation.
The homeowner/putative Time Lord seems to have a good sense of humor about the issue and it seems that the violation can easily be solved by moving the TARDIS to the back yard. Still, if they choose to fight, I envision a Miracle on 34th St. type defense to prove the Doctor is real and not subject to the limitations on structures as their blue box is not a structure, but a vehicle.
-Bradley A. Coxe is a practicing attorney in Wilmington, NC who practices in Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Contract and Real Estate disputes, and all forms of Civil Litigation. Please contact him at (910) 772-1678.