But when the truck belongs to a paralyzed man and it’s rigged with a wheelchair lift, making it too high and wide to fit in a garage, it falls under higher laws than condo association rules.
Instead of branding it a violation, it should have been considered a “reasonable accommodation” for 36-year-old Jason Cain, who lived in Madison Park in East Naples. Yet the condo association warned: “Make the vehicle fit or remove it from the property.”
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At Quincy Square, off Davis Boulevard, rules prohibit trucks and vans from parking on driveways, except for service and delivery vehicles.
Yet the Cains say they’d checked and Guardian Property Management told them no rules prohibited that. They signed a lease in February 2010. Six months later, a violation sticker was slapped on Jason Cain’s truck, warning it must be in the garage.
Alice Cain went to the property managers, who knew their situation from their last development. She said she was assured there would be no problem.
Yet the warnings continued and more violations were added. The association’s then-attorney, Robert Samouce, wrote to warn about their trucks and another disagreement between the Cains and Flynn.
Alice Cain consulted with attorney William Morris, who wrote to Samouce, accusing the association of discriminating against a handicapped man. Morris warned that it violated the Federal Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act and demanded that the “harassment cease immediately” or face legal action.
“Your letter is little more than an extension of harassment by the association,” Morris wrote in January 2011.
The association filed its state complaint against the Cains that April.
While Alice Cain was asking neighbors to fill out questionnaires, a neighbor who is a lawyer offered to mediate the dispute and they reached an agreement, she said, but Flynn rejected their terms.
“I wanted the board to be trained, to become educated about this,” Jason Cain said.
His mother, who said the lawsuit is about rights for the handicapped, not money, added: “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”