Stout Family Legal Defense Fund

After building a swing set that stood in place for nearly 11 months, the Raintree Lake Property Owners Association fined Jack and Marla Stout $200.00 and demanded that they remove their childrens' swing set because they did not get permission to build it.

Eventually, that decision was overturned, but the property owners association persisted and demanded that they tear down the set because the colors were not in harmony with the surrounding colors of the community.

The Stouts subsequently presented the HOA with signatures from each of their neighbors who all agreed that the swing set was neither offensive, nor out of harmony with the colors of the coummunity.

On November 11, 2014, the HOA referred the matter to its attorney, James Ensz, who sent a demand letter three days later. In the letter, Mr. Ensz claimed that "Failure to respond to any anticipated court ordered injunction directing your removal of the swing set could result in your being held in civil contempt of the court's order which would bring with it a daily fine or jail time until the swing set was removed, as ordered." Mr. Ensz further wrote that "The ultimate cost to you will be far greater than any principle you are trying to prove."

Since that time, this matter has gained local and national media coverage, with Mrs. Stout appearing the on Fox and Friends on the morning of Friday August 14, 2015.

This fund has been established by the friends and neighbors of the Stouts who disagree with the HOA and its lawyers, and who want to help the Stouts defend themselves against what they believe is the improper use of the HOA's rules to force one of its families into submission. 

The goal of $50,000.00 is based upon the anticipated cost of attorneys fees through trial and possible appeal.

Prevailing attorney fee rates in the area are approximatley $250.00 per hour, and by raising $50,000.00, the Stouts could afford at least 200 hours of attorney time to defend themselves.
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 76 mos
  • Sara York 
    • $10 
    • 76 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Virgil Fairchild 
    • $10 
    • 76 mos
  • Brent Harper 
    • $50 
    • 76 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Michael Hodgson 
Lee's Summit, MO
Marla Stout 
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