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Horn responds to Hill lawsuit; trial date set

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 9, 2018) In an Aug. 2 court filing, Ocean Pines Association Director Colette Horn denied allegations in the lawsuit brought by former interim General Manager Brett Hill that the rejection of his application for the 2018 board of directors election violated association bylaws.

Hill filed suit in Worcester County Circuit Court against Horn and the Ocean Pines board on June 6 after they disqualified him as a candidate because he had not paid his property assessments by the May 15 deadline stipulated in the election rules. On June 27, he tried to block the election by submitting an amended petition for writ of mandamus, injunctive relief, brief of fiduciary duty and a temporary restraining order.

The request for a restraining order was denied on June 29 as not in compliance with Maryland rules, according to Maryland Case Search.

Horn’s answer, filed by attorney Thomas J. Whiteford, denied allegations by Hill that he “has been an owner of record for property on 102 Port Arthur Court, Ocean Pines, MD 21811 through membership interest in Build Pines, LLC since June 30, 2005.”

The answer did not dispute that Hill was an owner of record for property on 3 Windward Court in Ocean Pines, although that property is subject to an Aug. 20 sheriff’s sale.

Horn admitted to reviewing board applications on May 15 and accepting all candidates with the exception of Hill on May 16.

She denied Hill’s claim that the May 15 cutoff date for assessment payments was invalid because the May 1 assessment invoice had an overdue date of May 31.

Also denied were allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and suggestions that two other applications were accepted, despite violating Ocean Pines bylaws.

According to court records, a settlement hearing was scheduled Nov. 19 and a trial was set for Dec. 17 in Worcester County Circuit Court in Snow Hill.