Kathleen and George Rowe were living their best life when their homeowners’ association filed a lawsuit against them. The couple, who are retired, was living a quiet life in their Texas community when they began feeding the ducks in their backyard. Neighbors complained that the ducks were becoming a nuisance, so the HOA filed a lawsuit against the Rowes, who now face losing their $439,900 home in Cypress, Texas.
Kathleen, 65, and her 72-year-old husband moved into the Cypress home after they lost their adult daughter. They found feeding the neighborhood ducks to be a type of therapy that helped them cope with the loss of their only child. In addition, Kathleen cares for George because he suffers from multiple sclerosis. The Rowes have lived in the community for eleven years and were regarded as great neighbors until the ducks started coming back for more food.
After being hit with the lawsuit from their HOA, the Rowes may be forced to sell their Cypress home to cover their legal fees. They also might have to pay potential damages to the Lakeland Community Homeowners Association because they were attracting ducks by feeding them in their backyard.
The HOA claims that it warned the Rowes to stop feeding the ducks. They provided “repeated warnings,” but the couple ignored the warnings and continued to feed the ducks regardless. The lawsuit was filed in June in Harris County Civil Court. The suit asks the Texas judge for a “permanent mandatory injunction requiring Defendants to cease from feeding any wildlife” on the property.
Kathleen does not get along with the people running her homeowners’ association. She said that the HOA is “just a lot of very hateful type people who do not like ducks.”
Meanwhile, Kathleen said that she feeds the ducks because “I just love ’em.”
If the HOA wins the lawsuit, they would be compensated for attorney fees as well as up to $250,000 for damages in the form of monetary relief. The suit also asks the Texas judge to ban the Rowes from ever feeding wildlife again.
“We didn’t have the $250,000, so we have to be prepared in case that’s what it’s going to cost,” Kathleen told the Houston Chronicle. “They’ve never had a mother. I feel like I’m just stepping in. I’m going to miss them terribly.”
George, Kathleen’s husband, said: “I’m going to more than miss them terribly.”
Meanwhile, the Lakeland Community Homeowners Association insists that the Rowes are putting their community in danger by feeding the neighborhood ducks. They claim that by feeding the ducks, the Rowes have caused “imminent harm and irreparable injury” to the HOA. The suit also asks the Texas judge for permission for the HOA to foreclose on the Rowes’ property if they continue to feed the duck despite the injunction.
Kathleen told Fox 26 Houston, “We just watch ’em, and they’re just beautiful. I tried, I went three whole days of not feeding them, just trying to stay away from the ducks, but they started coming across the street from the waterway into my yard and basically crying. They were starving. These were the ones that people just dropped them off. They’re just a lot of very hateful type people who do not like ducks, and me, I just love ’em.”
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