Friday, January 20, 2017

Ex-Homeowner Threatened With Jail Over Failure To Pay Tickets For Code Enforcement Violations On Abandoned Home Subsequently Lost To Foreclosure & Demolition

In Alton, Illinois, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
  • The city of Alton wants to lock up a former city resident if she doesn’t pay her tickets for failure to maintain the property she abandoned years ago.

    Shawna Nelson used to own a home on East Ninth Street. When her teenage daughter was expecting a baby in 2010, Nelson abandoned the house because she couldn’t make several repairs it needed to be safe for her new granddaughter.

    Madison County demolished the house in 2012, purchased the property out of foreclosure in 2014 and sold it to another Alton resident. Now it’s an empty lot.

    Today, Nelson, 54, owes the city of Alton more than $1,300 for a series of tickets she was issued in 2011 and 2012, most of them for junk or high weeds on the property after she had moved out.

    Earlier this month, the Madison County Circuit Court issued an arrest warrant on the city of Alton’s case against her.

    “Even if she got rid of the lot, she still incurred those costs to her personal property paid for by public monies, so she’s responsible for her property,” Alton Mayor Brant Walker said.

    Court records show she paid off some of the tickets. After she was arrested in April for failing to answer to the violations, she promised to make payments of $50 a month to satisfy her debt.

    The court dates were on the fourth Friday of each month. Records indicate that she made each payment on time through the end of October.

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