John A. Steakely

Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.

NC Court of Appeals Allows Arrest by HOA

I have previously noted the quasi-law-enforcement entities that are private homeowner association (HOA) security forces.  Now it seems the NC Appeals Court has weighed in on the issue, but on the side of the HOA: 

Rental cops hired by homeowners associations (HOA) can conduct traffic stops that would be unconstitutional if performed by an actual police officer, according to a ruling handed down last week by the North Carolina Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel took up the case of Frederick Lloyd Weaver Jr, who was stopped on April 20, 2012 by an armed security guard employed by Metro Special Police and Security Services. The HOA for the Carleton Place townhomes near the University of North Carolina at Wilmington contracted with Metro for security services.

North Carolina allows armed guards to wear police-like uniforms with badges, carry guns and drive cars with flashing red and white light bars. Qualifying for the security guard position requires four hours of classroom instruction and a day on the range.

Four hours in the classroom and a day at the range certainly doesn't compare to what a real police officer has to go through.

I stand by my earlier post that blurring the lines between who is and isn't endowed with state authority is a bad idea that will cause all sorts of problems.  Citizens need to know who is and isn't an officer, who does and doesn't have arrest powers, and who can and can't pull them over.  To blur those lines causes confusion and will encourage abuse. 

Hopefully, the NC Supreme Court will overrule this decision.


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