"Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart,
but they can restrain the heartless...." Dr. Martin Luther King

In 1988, Vogel Development Corporation filed a plat creating the Ledges of Hidden Hills, a 49-lot subdivision in Henderson County, North Carolina. A Declaration of Restrictive Covenants was filed concurrently as required by the County Development Ordinance. No amenities or common areas are shown on the plat or referred to in the Covenants. The plat provides a 50 foot right-of-way to the state Department of Transportation for street maintenance. Neither the plat nor the Covenants mention assessments or a requirement to be a member of a homeowners association.

Originally formed as a social club, the Ledges Homeowners Association incorporated itself in 1994 as a non-profit in order to obtain a taxpayer identification number, a requirement for opening a checking account. Nine years later on July 16, 2003, the corporation amended its By-Laws transforming itself into a so-called private government by adopting the North Carolina Planned Community Act and granting its officers the authority to, among other things, convert existing private property to common area, acquire additional property, adopt and amend Rules and Regulations, impose fines of $150./day for rule infractions, establish mandatory assessments and place liens on our homes.

With stunning arrogance, the association Board of Directors ignored the written opinion of their own lawyers, Dungan and Mitchell using the By-Laws in a manner they had been advised was not legally appropriate.