One neighborhood cleaned up: Literally
In 2006, Attorney Greg Abbott of Oregon was contacted by residents of a North Portland neighborhood who wanted help with a challenging issue; specifically they wanted a suspected meth house out of their neighborhood.
Mr Abbott, who generally handles small business matters had to approach the matter with a bit of caution. No one in the state of Oregon had ever successfully had a meth house cleaned up via the court system and the residents of the neighborhood weren’t willing to go on record for fear of retaliation.
Not giving in, Mr Abbott did some research to find that the cops had been called out to the house on numerous occasions; so many times in fact, that the house had actually been labeled a “chronic nuisance” under city code. He decided to file his suit in small claims court against the owner of the home under his name. Since he was unsure if the case would be successful he chose small claims court to limit the financial burden to himself; stating in hindsight: “If I screwed it up there was no point in making it more expensive than it had to be.”
Because this was a civil matter he would have provision to hold the party responsible for damages that include mental suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, interference with use of property, and reasonable attorneys’ fees. He could also call neighbors as a witness to vouch for his story. Because of this, neighbors were able to keep a log of people coming and going from the home and other strange happenings well in advance of the hearing. He would then call for expert testimony to coincide with the idea that this is in fact indicative of drug activity.
His plan worked. The case settled mid-trial when the owner agreed to sell the property. She in fact ended up selling to a couple of investors that flipped the property and turned it into a respectable home again. The neighborhood is happy and has Greg Abbott to thank for the return of their peaceful neighborhood.
I personally applaud the efforts of this man that took matters into his own hands to solve a problem that the local law enforcement could not. You sir – Rock.