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June 25, 2024

Resort HOA Dispute: Legal Maneuvers and 

Closed-Door Discussions Stir Controversy

In our community, the ongoing battle for homeowner control over the Deerfield Resort Homeowner Association (HOA) has taken a troubling turn, highlighting concerns over transparency and fair representation within our community. 


A recent development in the legal proceedings involves a motion filed by property owners in Deerfield Resort, represented by an attorney unfamiliar with the lawsuit, bringing a fourth attorney into the case. This motion, titled "Joint Motion to Compel Joinder of Indispensable Parties," was filed jointly with the Fields' counsel late last Friday afternoon, June 21st, sparking further controversy. Additionally, on Monday, June 24th, the Fields' attorney, Preston Hawkins, requested a rescheduling of the hearing originally set for today, Tuesday, June 25th, to address this new filing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hawkins, Preston A. <>
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2024 9:32 AM
To: Jane McMinn <>
Cc: Scott Hurley <>
Subject: Deerfield/Valle et al. — Need to reschedule tomorrow’s motion hearing

Ms. McMinn —


Please advise Judge Boniface that there is a joint motion that has been filed seeking to add approximately 115 Plaintiffs to this case. I need to request a short continuance from tomorrow’s motion hearing for a few reasons:

1. The Joint Motion needs to be addressed so that if the new Plaintiffs are added by the Court, then they can have some input into pending motions.

2. My client is having significant medical treatment and has an appointment in Cleveland, OH tomorrow that will prevent her from attending the hearing.

3. Although Mr. Hurley and I have made significant progress in whittling down the Bylaws, we have not been able to meet to finalize them due to medical issues that have arisen in counsel’s families.

I think we need another week. Are there any days next week that Judge Boniface could be available for a hearing on the pending motions to affect the election?

All counsel of record are copied on this email, including Mr. Carter who represents the parties seeking to intervene.

Best regards,


As reported in the Connection yesterday, Judge Boniface expressed readiness to finalize the CCRs and Bylaws intended to establish rights for all property owners at Deerfield Resort, marking a significant shift after 38 years of control by Fields Development Company. The Judge also intended to schedule an open election for the HOA board, accessible to all property owners. Additionally, the Receiver had petitioned the court to host an HOA webpage for updates on the transition and election details.


The crux of the joinder petition hinges on the claim of indispensability—that their interests cannot be adequately represented by the current plaintiffs. However, many homeowners view this assertion skeptically, pointing out that the original plaintiffs work to raise awareness of the current state of the community already represent the broader homeowner community's interests by advocating for transparency, accountability, and the basic right to self-governance.


The original plaintiffs goal is simple: to have the HOA turned over to homeowners so we can manage our own community. All homeowners share this interest, and the joinder attempt appears more as a tactic to dilute our efforts rather than genuinely aligning with homeowner concerns.


Many involved in the Joinder Motion have a history of alignment with Fields Development Company on social media, raising questions about their motivations in filing this action. At the heart of the controversy is their conduct on the Deerfield Resort on Norris Lake Homeowner Group Facebook page, where administrators, including Fields Development Company representatives Scott Fields and Paula Fields LeJeune, oversee discussions. Members of this group have repeatedly disparaged plaintiffs in the HOA lawsuit, and taken aggressive postures on social media, undermining efforts for change and fostering division between neighbors, while deleting posts made by Plaintiffs.


Using an official platform hosted by Fields Development Company and its agents to discredit opposing views is not conducive to fostering an open dialogue.  Instead, it raises serious concerns about fairness and the integrity of community discourse.


Additionally, a separate Facebook page has been set up and is referred to as Team Deerfield HOA Collaborative (formerly the Deerfield HOA Collaborative). Many of the residents named on the Joinder motion are  members of this page, as is Scott Fields.

The posts on this page suggest alignment with the Fields, however, this page is not open to all residents, raising questions about their commitment to openness and inclusivity.


The Team Deerfield HOA Collaborative Facebook page further exacerbates transparency concerns. This page is administered by Mike Rees and operates under strict screening protocols where potential members are required to answer selective questions before being granted access. Such practices exclude residents who may hold differing opinions or are unaware of these closed-door discussions. 


The secretive nature of this group's actions undermines the principles of democracy and community engagement. By operating behind closed doors and limiting participation based on undisclosed criteria, they hinder efforts to achieve consensus and compromise on critical issues facing the community today and tomorrow – sowing distrust and hindering progress. 


These Facebook pages encourage one agenda, not allowing all residents to voice their individual viewpoints. Residents have a right to ask questions and learn about information that impacts the sustainability of their community and their individual property rights. Instead they are bullied into silence by a select few. 


In a community where the developer has repeatedly made unilateral decisions in their own interest, changing CCRs and removing restrictive covenants on their own properties, residents seek the right to participate in their HOAs democratically. A secret webpage appears antithetical to that purpose. Transparency is essential for building trust and achieving mutual understanding among all stakeholders.


As stated in his recent motion, the Receiver requested that the court approve a webpage to be managed by the Receiver due to the misinformation being spread on these Deerfield Resort social media venues. 


For further information or to get involved, residents are encouraged to visit or contact us through the email link below.                                                                                                                                                            

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