News

Girl can keep pink playhouse that neighbors disputed

Oct. 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM ET

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Aubree, 4, almost lost her playhouse because of a lawsuit over its color.

A Georgia woman who was sued over the color of her granddaughter’s pink playhouse has prevailed in her battle against the homeowner’s association in her neighborhood.

A lawsuit filed against Becky Rogers-Peck ordering her to change the color of the playhouse after complaints by some neighbors was dropped by the Millshaven Homeowners Association on Oct. 15. The association did not disclose the reason for dropping the suit and the association’s attorney, August Murdock, declined to discuss the details of the suit being dropped.

“Not to toot my own horn, but they didn’t know who they were messing with,’’ Rogers-Peck told TODAY.com. “People always tell everybody I’m a redhead for a reason. I got that temperament. Also, if this case hadn’t gotten the publicity it did, they wouldn’t have backed down. I truly believe that.’’

The lawsuit, which was filed on Aug. 2, claimed that the color of the playhouse violated the association’s rules regarding an outbuilding and that Rogers-Peck did not have board approval to paint it pink. Rogers-Peck built the playhouse for her 4-year-old granddaughter, Aubree, and considered it play equipment — equivalent to a trampoline or a swingset — which  is not subject to approval by the association. Her contention was that this was a case of the board overstepping its bounds in monitoring residents.

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"People always tell everybody I'm a redhead for a reason," Becky Rogers-Peck told TODAY.com. "I got that temperament."

The board claimed that neighbors had complained about the color of the playhouse, which is not visible from the road. A week before the suit was dismissed, three new members were elected to the six-member association board, which Rogers-Peck also believes contributed to the lawsuit being dropped.

“I think the new members made the others realize they are wasting a whole bunch of money that could be used on something else,’’ Rogers-Peck said. “This thing has gone nationwide and most people are behind us, so they were not going to get any positive publicity on this at all.’’

Rogers-Peck previously stated that she did not have the money to fight the lawsuit in court, but she said she was referred to attorney David Dekle, who helped her answer the lawsuit free of charge. Dekle filed an answer detailing that Rogers-Peck was being subject to arbitrary enforcement of the association rules and treated unfairly.

After Dekle informed her that the lawsuit had been dropped, Rogers-Peck was able to give her granddaughter the good news that her playhouse would remain her favorite color.

“She was at her other grandmother’s house spending the night, and I woke her up to tell her,’’ Rogers-Peck said. “She said, ‘What about the lady who doesn’t like my house?’ I said not to worry because it’s going to stay like it is.’’ 

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