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 Deerfield News Connection

March 2, 2024

Fact-Checking Facebook: Dispelling Myths and Rumors

Part 4

A review of Facebook posts indicates that there may be some misunderstandings related to the Deerfield Resort HOA lawsuit. Below, are questions or statements made on Facebook, with clarifications. There are two Facebook page accounts from which the questions or statements were pulled, Deerfield HOA Collaborative (formerly Team Deerfield HOA Collaborative) and Deerfield Resort on Norris Lake Homeowner Group. The time period examined runs from June 9, 2023 through January 17, 2024.  

Several Deerfield residents on Facebook are using Facebook to propose a slate of candidates and coordinate a campaign to actively keep Plaintiffs from being on the candidates list, and they have made statements like “I would love to hold a meeting of like-minded home owners on a voting strategy.”  "Thus far our slate of those who have thrown their hats into the ring meet that criteria, have a plethora of skills and savvy to boot.” “There’s no way anyone that’s brought this lawsuit should even be on the board at the HOA.” "I think that we need to make a big posterboard, hang it up throughout the community with all the name of the POA members to make sure they receive no votes."

The  Tennessee Attorney General has the authority to investigate complaints about election irregularities, which could also result in fines or oversight of future elections.

Tennessee has laws in place to help prevent vote rigging in HOA board elections. The Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act outlines rules for elections of directors (board members) of nonprofit corporations like homeowner associations. Specifically, the law states that elections "must be conducted in a fair manner" with notice provided to all members as to the date, time and place of meetings where elections will be held. Additionally, the Tennessee Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act provides association standards for elections, including requirements that election procedures assure that only eligible members can vote and that the outcome is determined "by a majority of votes cast."


Under Tennessee law, there could be several potential penalties for improperly influencing the outcome of an HOA board election. A court may invalidate the results of an election that was found to involve vote rigging or manipulation that violated state statutes, resulting in the necessity for a new election. Individuals who engaged in vote rigging activities could face fines or legal fees if sued by homeowners, as the statutes are meant to ensure fair elections. For nonprofit corporations like HOAs, the attorney general has authority to investigate complaints about election irregularities, which could also result in fines or oversight of future elections if issues are found. 


Many concerns arise out of the activities on Facebook related to elections. A slate of HOA board candidates was posted on a private Facebook page. It appears applications were taken for board candidates, but all Deerfield Resort residents were not made aware of the criteria for candidacy, or the nomination or election processes. There was active and prolonged discussion about a strategy to keep Plaintiffs in the Deerfield Resort lawsuit off of the ballot. Ultimately, a slate of candidates was selected and published within a limited group of homeowners with the intent of moving board elections forward outside of the knowledge of all residents and the court, which is problematic as the Deerfield Resort Homeowners Association, Inc. is currently held in a receivership estate.

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