The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 19, 2009

Court grants judgment to Ashton Grove homeowners

The developers of the exclusive Ashton Grove subdivision in northwest Norman have been ordered to reimburse overcharged homeowners and reconstruct fences, gates and landscaping.

The action, valued by an attorney at more than $3 million, comes three years after a group of homeowners filed a lawsuit alleging the out-of-state developers failed to deliver on promises made to them.

Cleveland County District Judge Tom Lucas signed the judgment March 13. Ashton Grove is near 48th Avenue NW and Rock Creek Road. The plaintiffs include OU football coach Bob Stoops and his wife, Carol, several Norman physicians, developers and others.

Court records showed the lawsuit was filed Feb. 24, 2006, in Cleveland County District Court against Ashton Grove, Ashton Grove Master Association, Ashton Grove Estates Section I Community, William Dow Hamm III, William Dow Ham Jr. and Jonathan H. Brinsden. Brinsden later was dismissed from the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, William Dow Hamm Jr. owns Ashton Grove, L.C. His son, William Dow Hamm III controls Hamm Corporation, and the corporation manages Ashton Grove.

Norman attorney Bob Dill represented the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are all homeowners in Ashton Grove.

"The court is granting judgment on various contract-based claims," Dill said.

He said the judgment for plaintiff found the defendants were in fiduciary relationship with the plaintiffs and they breached the relationship. The court is enforcing contracts.

"The value of those improvements the court is ordering to be made is roughly $3.2 million," Dill said.

Dill said the developers failed to build the type of fencing that was obligated in the contract and they failed to build fencing they promised to install.

"The entry gates have been a significant issue from the beginning," Dill said. "He did not build what he should have built."

The attorney also said there was an allegation that the developer had overcharged the assessments against the homeowners. The court has ordered those who were overcharged to be reimbursed.

Dill said the developers have to start construction within 45 days of the judgment.

"It is clearly a judgment for the plaintiffs and grants a relief what the plaintiffs sought and the judgment is as it says as a judgment for plaintiffs on all claims," Dill said.

Norman attorney David Morse represents Ashton Grove, L.C. Contacted late Wednesday, Morse said he had no comment about the Ashton Grove judgment.

Meghan McCormick 366-3539 mmccormick@normantranscript.com

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