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Condo owner sues HOA over Ring camera, loses, has to pay $73K

CHARLOTTE — Teywonia Byrd lives inside Fat City Condos in NoDa. She’s a single woman who lives alone.

“I was drugged unbeknownst to me and then sexually assaulted,” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

She says she’s been living on edge even since so she put a Ring camera on her door. She found out she needed homeowners association approval, so she submitted a request, but the HOA said no.

“So I had mentally prepared for the threat of that, but no type of preparedness could ever have brought me to this point,” she said.

She kept the camera and the HOA cited her $100 per day. That went on for years.

“It’s difficult to put into words,” she said.

The HOA’s lawyers told Stoogenke this case was “never about an exterior door modification.” They say it was about privacy. The HOA didn’t want Byrd -- or any resident -- being able to record neighbors.

They say “nothing would have prevented Ms. Byrd from putting a dozen cameras up inside her own unit for her own security, which she has never done.”

Byrd sued the HOA, went to trial, had a jury, and lost.

“It feels like I’ve been alive every single moment and every single day with nothing but pain and injustice,” she said.

So she has to pay $73,000.

Stoogenke asked Byrd if she can afford that.

“God will make a way. He always has. He always does,” she said.

And the HOA’s lawyers are asking for Byrd to pay attorney fees: $65,000 for one part of the case and $50,000 for another.

Both sides say the HOA offered to settle the case and waive the fees if Byrd took the camera down. Byrd says she didn’t take the deal because, for her, it wasn’t about the money, it was about the camera.

The HOA’s lawyers say if she had settled, they would not be asking the judge for her to pay the attorney fees.

(WATCH BELOW: NC is step closer to law limiting power of HOAs)

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