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Trash House and Tragedy

October 9th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

There’s a sad tale from Jacksonville, Florida about a woman who was found dead under 8 feet of trash in her home.  http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/national_world&id=7054060 The rescue workers had difficulty locating the body because of the trash.  There’s an ongoing debate about how aggressive inspectors should be in enforcing the property maintenance code for interior violations.  Should a person be allowed to live in a “trash” house if he or she is not harming anyone else or should inspectors seek compliance against the wishes of the occupant? I think this case points out the dangers of ignoring these kinds of cases.  As I’ve said before, I’ve had some success by having the court issue an order for a cleanup with an inspector monitoring the progress.   Don’t we have an obligation to use the law to help people who because of a hoarding disorder can’t help themselves?

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