Master v. Country Club of Landfall, — S.E.2d — (2018)
Does due process require a hearing before an impartial tribunal (Board)? NO!!!
Masters was a member a private golf club within his HOA. The golf club (“Club”) sought to make significant changes to its bylaws. Masters opposed the changes and wrote and sent a series of emails to other members claiming the proposed changes were unethical and immoral. Specifically, within the emails Masters “made references to Hitler, Barabbas, Jesus and slavery.” After several Club members complained, the Board concluded that Master’s actions were “insulting and inappropriate and had no place within the Club.” As a result they voted unanimously to terminate his membership. In accordance with the Rules the president referred the matter to a hearing panel. Master’s was given notice of the hearing and although he did not appear, his attorney did attend and argued for “suspension” instead of termination, but did not ask any members to recuse themselves. The hearing panel voted to terminate Masters membership and he filed suit.