For $505, owner of Dorchester eyesore buys more time to let his property rot

James Dickey, the owner of a fire-ruined shell of a former house at 97 Mt. Ida Rd. in Dorchester, today filed an appeal of a federal judge's decision that he stop bothering federal judges with his attempts to keep the city from tearing down what's left of the structure, which the city says now exists solely as a haven for rats.

Dickey, who lives in Sudbury, paid $505 for his appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston. The request means ISD cannot pursue any action in state Housing Court to tear down the wreck and then bill Dickey for the work until after a panel of justices reviews Dickey's claim that his property is somehow affected by an alleged conspiracy by city and Housing Court officials to steal properties from black owners even though he is himself white.

After US District Court Judge Richard Stearns sent the case back to Housing Court again and warned Dickey to stop showing "complete disregard of prior court orders" last month, ISD went back into Housing Court, where a judge had scheduled a hearing for today on the status of the case. The hearing was continued.

Stearns himself ruled today that Dickey's appeal to the next level of the judiciary means he no longer has any jurisdiction over the case.



Free tagging: 


James Dickey appears to be

James Dickey appears to be total ass. I'd be irate if I lived on that street and had to look at that eye sore everyday. It's amazing and shameful he can get away with this for so long. Shame on him.


A haven for RATS

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“the city says now exists solely as a haven for rats.”

There is no way that the neighbors of this property should be subject to this while this guy plays the system....this is so wrong on so many levels.


Cost Was $505 -- Get a Grip

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For $505, owner of Dorchester eyesore buys more time to let his property rot

Adam should have said "the Court cost" was $505. Likely, he dosn't (nor do I) know what the 'cost' was.

  • Likely, the lawyer involved is on retainer. One should then pro rate the cost. A guess: $5,000
  • Maybe Dickey is his own lawyer. THEN the cost is $505, if you value his time as free (probably, he does not).

He spent $505 to buy more time

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It costs $505 to file an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston. Dickey does not have a lawyer - he always files "pro se" - and by now he's got this whole thing down pat, so I doubt he's spending much time on writing out his motions.

What that fee, and the accompanying motion, which he wrote himself, does for Dickey is it prevents the city from doing anything about the house.

Dickey has proven quite adept at this, and has managed to block the city for years now from either getting him to do something about the house or from tearing the fool thing down and billing him for it, in part by ping-ponging the case between state and federal court.

The appeal he filed Friday is of a decision by a federal judge on a motion he filed the morning he was supposed to go into housing court to explain to a judge why the city shouldn't be allowed to tear down what's left of the house.

That motion, to transfer his case from state to federal court, meant the housing-court judge could no longer legally rule on the city request; he or she would now have to wait to see what the federal judge would do.

This was the THIRD time Dickey tried this. The first two times, the federal judges both said there were no federal issues involved and sent the case back to state court.

So Dickey had to know that this would likely happen again, even if he did come up with a new legal theory - that the city and the housing court are violating the rights of black homeowners and stealing their homes, which would be truly shocking, but which would not apply to Dickey given that his skin tone more closely approximates the color of printer paper.

And, sure enough, the third federal judge to review his case said there is no federal issue involved and sent it back to housing court - this time with a warning to Dickey to knock it off.

So Dickey exercised his right to appeal that ruling - on the morning he was due back in housing court for a status hearing.

And guess what? His appeal once again stops the city or the housing-court judge from doing anything.

Give the guy credit - he knows how to work the court system.

So, yeah, that's why I said he spent $505 to buy more time. Because that's exactly what he did.



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do not live in burnt out dwellings unless there is a food source in there.

Oh there's a food source, all

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Oh there's a food source, all right. It's coming from the people that are sleeping there at night. You"re sound asleep when they"re going in to nod out. Chips, cookies, slim jims, and a few used needles and a rezzed crack pipe. You can get good cash for a rezzed up pipe.


He's pro se

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I'm not a lawyer, but I read a lot of legal writing and have to say, he's got the legal style of writing down, citations and everything.


Sauce for the Goose, etc.

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Dickey, who lives in Sudbury, paid $505 for his appeal

The court's get used to advocate for all types of causes.
This is but one.


Summer's coming and that

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Summer's coming and that place is going start to give of a stench. I've been in the asset disposition business for many years. My job was to go out and keep the windows secure so nobody could tresspass inside. In the industry they call it foreclosure rot. In addition, trust me, the place will then becone a target for crime, drug use, racoons, rats, mold and other fungi. For the safety of the Dorchester abutters, this place needs to be professionally demolished. It"s no joke. I pray no one sets fire to it. WTF is the owner doing living in one of the richest towns in Western Mass while he ignores his rotting health hazard out in Dorchester?


Middlesex country.

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Sudbury is part of middlesex country in eastern ma.


Yes and

He could easily sell it for 300-500 grand to the "We Buy Ugly Houses" people. Have you seen the gorgeous views of the bay/water you get from that street? It's up on a hill so it probably gets great views of the city too. I've always wanted to buy a home on that street.


97 Eyesore

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As a neighbor of this property who has been witness to its decline since moving to the neighborhood in 2003 (it was condemned and electricity & gas were dug up a week after we moved in August of that year), I can say that nothing he does is a surprise at all. We have tried every avenue and the city is on our side in this one. It’s the courts and his ability to stall action there and dodge the law that keeps the heap standing. He stays there every night and does not live in the town he is from as far as we can tell. To say we are disgusted is putting it mildly.


Stays there?

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I didn’t understand your comment, saying “he stays there every night”. You don’t mean the house on Mount Ida Riad, do you?


A forced eminent domain purchase?

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Perhaps Dickey is purposely delaying an action by the city in the hope that city government will decide to purchase the property via eminent domain. Dickey can then profit based on the overall increases in land value if he reasons that the only remaining value of the property is the land.

Once the Appeals Court kicks him out of Federal Court what would be his next step? Supreme Court?

Even as a pro se litigant he is wasting a lot of time on what ultimately is case he can not win (unless city housing gave up). So unless this is a game of power that satisfies a perverse need he has some goal as the final conclusion of his games. Eminent domain allows him a forced sale without the costs of a real estate broker.

But even eminent domain might introduce more delays letting him enjoy even more increase in land value until the city can force the sale.


Supreme Court?

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He's tried that. In 2010, after he failed to get the Court of Appeals interested in whatever his case was at the time, he did appeal to the Supreme Court. They declined to hear his case.

Since then, he's managed to use the Court of Appeals to tie up ISD several times - always with the same result: His case is dismissed or sent back to state court.

Buy it?

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So all these people who hate this place as an eyesore, has anyone tried buying the place out from under the guy? Or is your only solution to get the state to force they guy to do what you want with his property? No wonder he's digging in and fighting.

Rolls Eyes

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People have tried to buy it for a fair price considering the wreckage. He won't part with it.

/stupid answers

It's a health hazard.

It should be torn down immediately. Your right to swing your fist ends at your neighbor's face. Dickey is a rich entitled dickhead with a sociopathic streak.