Saguaro Highlands v. Biltis (CA1 5/6/10)

Another in our why-was-this-published series.

Defendants put up a swing set in their backyard without asking the Homeowners Association’s approval. When it sued them they moved to enforce the arbitration agreement in the CC&Rs. The trial court denied it, finding that the provision was intended to apply to claims with the builder, not to this sort of dispute with the HOA.

After reviewing the language of the CC&Rs, the Court of Appeals agrees. No cases are cited except a few at the beginning, for basic, black-letter propositions about arbitration.

(The only interesting question here might have been whether the arbitration provision gave the arbitrator enough power that Defendants should have proceeded with arbitration themselves, and moved for a stay, rather than to move to compel it, which the arbitration types think can be a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot maneuver. The opinion doesn’t tell us enough to answer it.)

Those of you with swing-set cases in Saguaro Highlands should pay close attention.