Judges and Code Enforcement

December 9th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Having the support of the judiciary is critical in obtaining compliance.  I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have judges who really understand how important code enforcement is in maintaining communities.  Usually when a judge is new, he or she knows little about code enforcement (it is a very narrow area of the law).  I view my role as trying to  educate them on the issues and the law as I prosecute my cases.  Once they see that the inspectors and I are trying to fairly enforce the code for the good of the neighborhood, they are usually supportive and listen closely to my recommendations.  Recently, a judge in Ohio chastized a violator, fining a corporation $129,000 for property maintenance violations in an apartment complex.  http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/crime/complex-hit-with-129-000complex-hit-with-129-000-in-fines-1023227.html The judge said

“I’m embarrassed and ashamed these conditions exist in the city of Fairfield … We build housing in Haiti, in Africa, but in my own backyard, we have people living in filth. It’s disgraceful and it makes me sad that the working poor don’t have a better place to live.”

Too often it is the working poor who suffer when landlords don’t keep up their property.  Judges play a crucial role in righting this wrong.

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