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Flagpole Suit May Fly in Court

June 12, 1986

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (AP) _ A lawsuit over a Purple Heart winner’s right to plant a 12-foot flagpole on his condominium patio will proceed, even though a homeowners association official wants to drop it.

″It’s silly, the most asinine thing,″ Al Ruh, secretary of the Villa San Remo Homeowners Association board, said Wednesday after his effort to halt the suit failed at a Tuesday night board meeting.

″I’m disgusted with it. I think it’s a waste of money,″ he said. The suit is costing $2,000.

The homeowners association in April sued Capt. James Meltzer, who last July erected the unauthorized flagpole on his patio. The patio is considered land held in common by the complex’s 30 homeowners.

Meltzer, 63, who won the Purple Heart and the Silver Star Medal in Italy during World War II, has said he will go to jail rather than take down the flagpole.

Ruh said he moved to drop the action, but that an attorney, Terence Huber, said the suit was ordered by the previous association board, and the current board has no authority to withdraw the suit or alter it.

Ruh said the board was also told that it would have to have 75 percent of the homeowners amend the rules governing the complex to allow the pole, a statement Meltzer said he would have his attorney research.

When asked to comment Wednesday, Huber said, ″I’m not at liberty to comment on what happened at the board meeting. I think it would be inappropriate to do that.″

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