Homeowners, HOA president square off in court - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Homeowners, HOA president square off in court

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Michael Fitzmaurice is not just the developer of the Remington Forest Subdivision.  He's also spent years as president of the subdivision's homeowners association.

"There's never been an election in 11 years in Remington Forest Subdivision," homeowner Debbie Sloan said.

To say Fitzmaurice is not well liked among many of the homeowners is an understatement.

"This guy has held his thumb on us, me for the last four years and longer for other people," homeowner John Silva said.

"He's definitely not maintaining the subdivision the way that it should be," said homeowner Scarlet McFarland.  "It is absolutely in ruins."

"People are tired.  They're tired especially with a person like this," homeowner Darrell Christiles said.  "They're fed up look at his past."

Fitzmaurice is a convicted felon.  In 1992, he pled guilty to numerous counts of felony theft in Florida.

State law prohibits convicted felons from serving on HOA boards.  Fitzmaurice's criminal past and his numerous threats to file liens against their homes had some Remington Forest residents demanding his ouster as HOA president.

Fitzmaurice's reaction: sue the people who bought homes and property in the subdivision he developed.  Fitzmaurice's lawsuit prompted dozens of residents to attend a court hearing on Friday in Waller County.

This isn't the first time Michael Fitzmaurice has squared off in court with homeowners.

Fitzmaurice was also the developer of Thousand Oaks Subdivision in Montgomery County.  He also served as the HOA president.

What followed was years of lawsuits.

Fitzmaurice and his attorney declined to talk to FOX 26 Investigates.

But in court documents Fitzmaurice denies any wrongdoing and says he's acting in the best interest of all homeowners.

Last year's wildfires took a heavy toll on the Remington Forest Subdivision.

"The fire was a very emotional thing, it brought out a lot of people's emotions," homeowner Greg Brumbaugh.

Brumbaugh is an original HOA board member and a staunch defender of Michael Fitzmaurice.

"Mr. Fitzmaurice has done a lot for the community," Brumbaugh said.  "Since the fire, he has done some stuff that I think is a benefit to the residents."

Friday, the judge declined to rule on any motions, opting instead to have both sides return next month.  The judge said he wanted a chance to review the documents in this complicated case and give the homeowners a chance to hire an attorney.

If it's a fight Fitzmaurice wants then these residents say bring it on.

"We can't back off of this," Sloan said.  "It's wrong for people to feel like they don't own their property."

"We're not going to give it up," Silva said. "No way shape or form."

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