Longtime Side Streets readers no doubt recall the stories of Jan Jackson, who lives with her husband in the mountainside subdivision known as the B Lazy M Ranch.
It’s a beautiful community on the western flank of Pikes Peak.
Here’s a GoogleEarth map to the B Lazy M:
And this is another view of the remote, wooded ranch.
Here is a view of Jan Jackson’s house, one of two she owns in the community of 35-acre ranchettes.
Jackson and her husband bought their first house with a barn and corral in 1999. They bought the house next-door, above, a few years later and moved. But they still own both properties.
Jackson’s anger at the B Lazy M homeowners association was ignited when they questioned the size of a corral on the property at her first home. Then she accused the HOA of illegally storing water in this pond on Hay Creek.
The pond dam is 19 feet high and 200 feet long. It holds about 30 acre feet of water. It was built in 1963 to water cattle on the 1,600-acre ranch. After the ranch was developed into a subdivision in 1977, the HOA maintained it to water a few remaining cattle, to stock for fishing and as insurance against wildfires.
When the dam needed repair, the HOA issued a special assessment, which Jackson protested, to fix it and to buy water rights to fill the pond.
The dispute led to years of complaints, counter-complaints, allegations, tense meetings and deteriorated into name-calling and lawsuits.
Jackson launched a crusade not just against B Lazy M Ranch but against all HOAs, declaring war and vowing to abolish them. She has her own Web page and posts on many blogs on the subject.
Finally, in October 2007, 4th Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Kennedy ruled Jackson had repeatedly libeled members of the ranch owners association board of directors with venomous attacks that often started like this. . .
Here is a link to a vintage Jackson rant in which she called board members psychopaths. The board of directors had 2,000 pages of evidence.
In addition, the judge issued an injunction that gagged Jackson from future screeds to her B Lazy M Ranch board, or about the board to newspapers, blogs like the AHRC, which stands for the American Homeowners Resource Center and is a major anti-HOA voice on the web.
Want to really dig into this case? Check out this link, which includes transcripts from the 2007 trial before Kennedy and his decision.
Now, the Colorado Court of Appeals has struck down Kennedy’s injunction against Jackson, freeing her to unleash new attacks. But not with impunity. She no longer faces contempt of court for speaking her mind, but she may be open to new libel lawsuits, bigger fines and court costs.
She is appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court claiming the one-year statute of limitations on defamation claims had expired on many of the statements. It’s unknown if the high court will consider the appeal.