Posted by henry pratt on January 18, 1999 at 15:30:08:
Any lawyers out there reading this msg board who would be interested in taking a case involving USDA Rural Development multi-family housing?
I live in a USDA financed multi-family housing unit in Southwest Missouri. The 20 unit apartment, mostly for elderly, was badly mismanaged for years. None of my old lady neighbors knew how to get justice. I do know how to write good letters, so I filed a 20 page complaint with senior USDA officials, copies to Sen Ashcroft, Sen Bond, etc.
Housing authority allowed a crippled old man of 80 to be the “maintenance man”, who was in no way capable of doing this job, but the project owners were sweet on this goofball, and his maintenance “job” allowed him and his wife two free apartments.
This moron was also repeatedly violating tenants privacy by roaming in and out of everyone’s apartment when tenants were gone, using the keys provided by management company.
This same maintenance guy, who has since been dismissed, has threatened violent attacks upon me 6 times, including steel pipes, TV remote controls, boards, softball sized rocks, sicked his dog on me, etc.
In August of 98, this old fool takes tractor out to mow, AGAINST ORDERS of the private management company that manages the facility. I see old fool mowing and go to get camera to catch it on film.
10 days later, mgmt company TELLS ME MY LEASE HAS BEEN TERMINATED, that I “disturbed the peace and quiet enjoyment of the neighbors”. But the man who has threatened me repeatedly, and on the above documented occasion, took the tractor out to mow against orders, receives NO DISCIPLINE WHATEVER.
In other words, management is scratching at a nats ass to find an excuse to evict me, not so much over the issue of taking pictures of old goat riding tractor, but as retaliation for my letters to Washington the previous year, which caused a lot of uproar, with no doubt various persons within the USDA getting good ass-chewing, as Senator Bond and Sen Ashcroft’s offices demanded the USDA file reports with their offices on the outcome of their investigation.
I am a burr under their saddle, able to fight for the best interests of my old lady neighbors; have done so and don’t plan to look the other way anytime soon.
The other significant element to this case involves CIRCULAR REASONING in the lease. The management companies lease tells the tenant in the event of a lease termination letter to follow the instructions posted on the project common areas (laundry room bulletin board), which directs the hapless victim to USDA Rules Part 1944L (7 CFR). Unfortunately, Part 1944L has an EXCEPTION CLAUSE, which does not apply to lease terminations.
“hey sucker, we’ll tell you to use a part of the USDA regs to appeal, but that portion doesn’t apply to lease terminations--thus we ignore your plea for an appeal”
So the issue becomes one of HEADS THEY WIN, TAILS THE TENANT LOSES. CIRCULAR REASONING. DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON’T.
7 CFR Ch 18, RD Instruction 1930c, Exhibit B-3 specifically states the tenant is entitled to appeal managements decision (meaning termination of lease). I wrote to high level USDA officials in Washington asking “where’s the appeal”, and they refuse to even respond.
The question is not so much if there is a good case here. I already know that. It’s finding an attorney who has time to climb aboard and run with it.
Many more details to all this, but can’t list it all here. If you want more info, please write to:
I’ll offer any attorney half of whatever can be obtained from a settlement, or verdict from trial judgement.
There is strong merit with this case, but who can learn to be a lawyer in 3 months, good enough to win in Federal court?
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