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Old 08-13-2013, 07:40 PM
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any of you good with legal stuffs

Long story short:

I was buying the property next to my moms house (abandoned building) to use for storage. Random idiot shows up asking about it, I told him I was buying it waiting for paperwork, he goes and offers more money and gets it. I don't know this till he starts cleaning up the place.

This guy then proceeds to knock holes in wall and install garage doors, and opens up a full auto repair/sales shop, 30 feet from my mothers house in a residential neighborhood.

I complain to city, get blown off telling me it's his property he can do what he wants and is allowed to run a home business as long as there are no signs/employess.

He then gets his inspection license and installs that sign along with another saying the name of shop.

I complain to city, they say his sign size is under ordinance restriction.

He then puts up an 8' x 4' sign with name of shop.

I again complain and am blown off and told he is going to apply for a zone change.

Two months later he does, we go to planning/zoning meeting to voice our concerns and they vote to DENY changes.

Town board meeting the next night votes 100% to change from R-1 to B-1.

In the mean time, I have gotten a copy of the town zoning ordinance.

It is NOT legal to run a repair shop as a home buisiness in R-1 areas
He got NO permits for repair/remodel or anything else period.
He was NOT allowed to modify the building except to meet current zoning regs, which two garage doors in a wall do not.
He is supposed to have parking for 8 vehicles not in grass, not done
He is supposed to install a privacy fence between properties, not done.

He constantly harasses us, flipping us off, cussing, driving down the ally late at night (he lives a couple miles away).

The city zoning ordinance states VERY CLEARLY that he is running an illegal shop and is subject to $10-$100/day plus a Misdemeanor/day for doing so. I can prove that he's been up and running since January, which is 8mos worth of fines NOT COLLECTED as the city won't do it.

In the ordinance, it also states VERY CLEARLY that anyone allowing this to happen (ie the town board) is also liable for the same penalties.

The town has now started harassing me by turning me in to the Dept of Natural Resources for burning copper wire late at night. I did no such thing, and the rep that came out to investigate confirmed it. They did not realize that thanks to the Sunshine law, I can find out who did it. I printed it off to show to lawyer.

NOW, did you make it through all that? Anyone got any advice on finding a lawyer that can help but not want a $5000 retainer like the ones we are finding? We don't have that kind of cash up front. We think the attorney fees should get paid by the town since we can prove it is their unaccountability that is causing the issue. They refuse to enforce their own rules because he is a friend to them, though they are trying to enforce rules on me that I haven't even broken. We have approx 30days to come up with a lawyer, or I will take my chances representing myself.

Any thoughts or positive opinions? If you just want to tell me to let it go, or gripe that I am after a small business just move on. I haven't told the whole story and nothing will change my mind.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:08 PM
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Dump his waste oil drum and call the EPA. Is he doing A/C work? There's a $10K fine for anyone who turns someone in doing A/C work unlicensed. (YOU get the money) You have to go federal and snake around the town politics. Once the EPA gets involved, wander over and point out the rest of the problems. They may be very interested.

Good luck. I know there would be several unexplained problems for that guy if it was my neighbor. A gallon of black house paint covers MANY 4'X8' garage signs.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:17 PM
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I took a pic of a tranny with a pool of fluid around it, the next day he cleaned it up (it sat for several days). I've been thinking about sending it to EPA. I don't know what he does with fluids, nothing outside and dunno if he's even smart enough to do a/c.

I'm pretty sure his vehicle inspections consist of; putting on a sticker. Can't prove that one yet, but I'm trying. I gotta be careful how much I stir up so I don't ruin my case against the city.

Something else he's started doing that the city won't correct is his hours. His sign says 9-5 m-f. Just about every night he's there till midnight working, even sat/sun. He just pulled up to work as I'm typing this at 9:21pm. Calling the sheriff every night won't help, so I've been taking pix and printing them for my file.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:26 PM
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See if the local news would be interested in the story. All you have to say is he's not keeping the place clean. Show the trans in a pool of fluid and you'll have all the tree huggers on his *** and the city will have to react.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:28 PM
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town is maybe 2000 people, news won't care here. Nice thought though.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:32 PM
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Understand, it's incredibly ironic I'm saying anything, because I'm that guy! I run a shop out of my house too. I don't have any signs, hours posted, or employees though. I'm also not here every day and I stop around 2100 or earlier.
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'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
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'79 F-150 400, C6 4x4 (Ka'Bluey)
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:41 PM
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Yeah, me too, but I play by the rules. His shop is 100% illegal according to the towns own ordinance, and we've been trying from the beginning but they will not stop him. If he would have played nice from the beginning we might have worked something out, but not after some of the stuff he's done. My mom can't even use her side yard anymore without being stared at or flipped off. She's owned this house and property for 31 years.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1080 View Post
The town has now started harassing me by turning me in to the Dept of Natural Resources for burning copper wire late at night.

They refuse to enforce their own rules because he is a friend to them, though they are trying to enforce rules on me that I haven't even broken.
Brian be very careful with this situation, since the town is now coming down on you, you will have to find a outa town or county lawyer. CYA

And since he is friends with the powers to be, it had better be a GOOD lawyer. Sorry I do not know any once again CYA.

Like suggested get EPA or any other state/federal folks involved. But you had better be very careful. Remember your mom lives there, and you do not need that kind of worry. That kind of worry is what gets people in jail, when they react in a moment of rage.

Sounds like you are doing your home work, and pic and document everything. Can you take it to the county or a higher than your local court. Since your locals are not doing a thing about it, you have to go higher.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:28 PM
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The town I live in is a "village", we have our own rules/town board/planning board etc,, BUT anything legal goes to the city of St. Joe/buchanan county. We do not have a police force/court/etc, but St. Joe does. The two are already battling over annexation of mutual properties, so I have that in my favor.

Trust me, I'm minding my p's and q's like you wouldn't believe. I've read their planning/zoning ordinance 4x (it's about 100 pages) and know more about the rules than they do. Matter of fact, when I started quoting things out of it at the meeting, they looked at me with blank stares. I said, "Have any of you actually even read this ordinance"? Not one yes out of 6 members.

We are prepared to make enemies, they picked the wrong person to screw. I considered going into law at one point, so research is kind of fun to me. I've already decided if that's how they want to play it's game on. I know where the board members live and I know what laws they are breaking, so if I have to go there I will. They are cowards, so safety is not an issue, they are just trying to get me to drop it. Not a chance that will happen, I'm going to prove for once you can follow the rules and win.

I've got well over 100 pix of everything going on, I've got a copy of every town board meeting I've attended and complained at (1 per month), I've got a full copy (from the town clerk) of the zoning ordinance, I've got similar cases from the net printed off, I've got maps of the area printed off with measurements. Pretty much anything I can think of, I've gotten. All I really need is a lawyer to put it into a case. I'm hoping to hear back from one tomorrow, but if not I'm going to start calling KC law firms. I'm hoping someone will accept the challenge without a huge sum up front.

Side note; Like I said, we have been here 31 years, my dads family has lived here longer. I'm a 2 year member of the Vol Fire Dept. here, I have a clean record and even cleaner reputation. They have nothing to hold against me and they know it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:12 AM
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I would be careful about going back on that property. The new owner can call the law for you trespassing. Then you will have a record.
Pictures and such are great, just be careful how/where you are when you get them.
I have 15 years federal law enforcement, and am an expert at private property laws, I am in charge of a bunch of officers that enforce it all the time.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:20 AM
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The pictures I have are from our property and the street, nothing of the inside of the building. I've checked into that as well as I don't want to do anything wrong. Like I said, the property line is less than 30' from the house and their building is less than 20' from the line. There are no fences, vegetation or anything else in between. I take the pix with my Iphone, nothing fancy.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:46 AM
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It would require some effort on your part to find the exact form for it, but you can on your own. file a writ of mandamus. That is a writ asking a court to compel a state,federal, county or municipal government to do what is required of them by law. Read up on it. I that would be a way to compel the city government to do what is required of them by ordnance.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:59 PM
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Yup, I've seen and studied that. That's my plan if I can't find a lawyer. Thanks for all the input, glad to see that I've covered the bases anyone can think of. Reassures me that I know what I'm doing, lol.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:50 PM
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After searching all afternoon, I haven't come up with a form for a Writ. Any ideas where to get one, would the court have one?
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:00 AM
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Since you are having such trouble with your local court system, I would go get it from the next county over....
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:00 AM
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