CCOC CASE SUMMARY
#06-07, Esprit, a Condominium v. Abrigo (August 22, 2007) (Panel: Thorpe, Gelfound, Negro)
The condominium association (CA) complained that the condominium owner (CO) had installed a satellite dish in the common elements without permission.
The CO did not answer the complaint, and the dispute was referred to a hearing panel to be resolved without a hearing pursuant to the Commission's Default Judgment Procedures.
The CA produced documents and photographs to show that all the land surrounding the buildings in the CA were common elements, and that the CO had connected a portable satellite TV dish to his unit.The dish was bolted to a sheet of plywood and placed on the ground near the CA's air conditioning compressor which was installed in the common elements.The CA had not given any approval for the CO to use the common elements for his satellite dish.
The panel noted that under Federal law (42 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.4000(a), issued by the Federal Communications Commission), homeowners had the right to install satellite TV reception devices anywhere on the property they owned, subject to certain safety restrictions.However, owners had no right to install them in the common elements of a community association without the association's permission.The Federal Communications Commission reserved to itself the right to determine what restrictions could properly be imposed on an owner's right to install the devices on his own property.
The hearing panel ruled that the facts showed that the dish was installed on the common elements.Therefore the dispute came under the CCOC's jurisdiction, and not that of the Federal Communication Commission's.The panel further found that the CO had violated the community rules by installing the dish in the common elements without permission and ordered the CO to remove the dish from the common elements.