January 26, 2016 Legal Services reports:
1. legal wrangling continues: The park operator failed to show up for his deposition and failed to file an answer to the complaint. At the hearing judge continued the TRO that prevents the water shut off and put the park operator on notice (again) that he was being sued for damages. The delay will give the park residents more time to flesh out the damages being sought.
2. In the meantime, the City has filed a tax foreclosure against the park operator, but failed to name the tenants as parties. We plan to press to have the tenants added as parties.
3. Residents are beginning to move out of the park, I assume mostly leaving their old mobile homes behind. Two of our four clients have already moved. Legal aid is exploring options that would preserve this affordable housing for low-income people.
January 10, 2016 rhino!UP reports Marion MHP Residents Resist Displacement. In early December, residents at DK Trailer Park in Marion Ohio learned that their water was about to be shut off because the park owner had failed to pay his bills. Luckily, one of the residents called Legal Aid. Attorneys moved quickly to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the shutoff and ordered the park operator to pay the bills. On the plus side, the park operator has entered into a payment agreement with the water company. On the negative side, he issued a "No More Mister Nice Guy" notice, raised everybody's rent, and terminated the lease of the lead plaintiff. The next court hearing will be January 20th. Meanwhile, Legal Aid will be gathering evidence from the park operator, the health department and the water company.
One of the issues that is sure to be raised is the park operator's retaliation against the tenants. Ohio Revised Code 4781.121 says: "...a park operator shall not retaliate against a resident by increasing the resident's rent, decreasing services that are due to the resident, refusing to renew or threatening to refuse to renew the rental agreement with the resident, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession of the resident's premises because: (1) The resident has complained to an appropriate governmental agency of a violation of a building, housing, health, or safety code that is applicable to the premises, and the violation materially affects health and safety; (2) The resident has complained to the park operator of any violation of section 4781.38 of the Revised Code; (3) The resident joined with other residents for the purpose of negotiating or dealing collectively with the park operator on any of the terms and conditions of a rental agreement."
December 4, 2015 Marion Star 65 Manhome Park residents at risk when park owner fails to pay water bill.
It was a double whammy in Marion Ohio this week. First residents of a Marion Manufactured Home Park had their water shut off because the park owner failed to pay the bill. Then, according to ABC Channel 6 news, the County Health Department showed up with orders for the residents to vacate their homes because they had no water. "Miller said she tried to rinse a breakfast dish Tuesday and discovered there was no water. She and other residents have been using bottled water for drinking, washing and bathing. Miller said she didn't know where she would live after Monday. 'I don't know, we have no clue,' Miller said. 'I don't want to go to a homeless shelter because we have pets, and they're not going to allow that.' "
New developments. Legal Services reports: "[legal services] got a TRO this afternoon, and while he was in the TRO hearing the Salvation Army, responding to news coverage, paid the water bill through January 3rd. The county health department has told us it will not enforce its condemnation order while the water is on. So that defers the immediate emergency." , update 12/05/12
Update from Marion Star
Apparently the situation is not that unusual.from Wooster this past summer.