OFFICIALS Evict a soldier’s pregnant wife & DEMOLISH his home while he was away preparing for deployment hundreds of miles away
A federal judge has slammed Miami-Dade County for refusing to delay demolition of a soldier’s home while he trained in California for deployment to the Middle East. The soldier’s kids and pregnant wife were kicked to the curb and the house was razed in 2011 after U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jesus Jimenez did not heed numerous county requests to fix building code violations.
Staff Sergeant Jimenez had repeatedly asked for extensions to fix the problems while training or on a mission. At one point his commanding military officer also weighed in, asking to officials to stay the hearing 90 days while Jimenez was conducting training on how to defuse improvised explosive devices in Iraq. The family was able to save some of their belongings, but much of what they owned was lost–including a piano–when the home was demolished.
‘They didn’t care,’ 32-year-old Laura Jimenez told the Miami Herald. U.S. Judge Robert Scola Jr. sided with the father of four, last week, scheduling a September trial to decide what the county owes Jimenez. But he urged both sides to first attempt a settlement. At issue is a World War II-era law, reinstated in 2003, that allows for the temporary suspension of legal or administrative proceedings that could affect active duty military members’ civil rights.
‘While it is possible that the Jimenezes employed dilatory tactics to avoid remedying the violations on their property and complying with the applicable building ordinances,’ Scola wrote, ‘their behavior does not negate the (county’s) failure to stay the proceedings….’
The county argued that Jimenez was in the Army Reserves when it issued the violations. But Scola ruled that since Jimenez was on active duty when he requested the stay, he should have been protected. County officials declined to discuss the case with the Herald, citing the ongoing litigation. But in court filings, Miami-Dade representatives said they’d given Jimenez more than enough time to fix the violations between deployments.
Jimenez says he tried to fix the initial problems but didn’t have the money to take out the necessary construction permits. Then he was sent to a Wisconsin training base and was fined for failing to complete the work. Meanwhile, inspectors reviewed the house more closely and ordered more improvements, including covering exposed wiring and other hazards. After more failed negotiations over the home, the family’s power was shut off.
Eventually, Jimenez hired an engineer and an architect to make the necessary changes, but the county said the problems were so extensive it would be better to start from scratch.
The City decided to take the opportunity while Staff Sergeant Jimenez was away to demolish his home and FORCE his family to start from scratch without allowing the landowners to make those decisions for themselves. A soldier fighting for freedom comes home to discover that the right to own land means you can only have that right AFTER governments permission. Freedom in Obama’s America in 2014.
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