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Long suffering neighbors of flame-ravaged rathole in Dorchester might finally see some cleanup work over the next month

A court-appointed receiver for 97 Mt. Ida Rd. told a housing-court judge today that owner James Dickey has agreed to begin cleaning up the hundreds of cat-food cans, fallen tree limbs and other debris around the property over the next month.

But as with everything else dealing with the property - hit by a fire in 2011 - any cleanup hinges on the outcome of Dickey's latest court attempt to get ISD and his mortgage company to stop pestering him about the property.

On Thursday, Dickey filed an appeal of Stuart Schrier's appointment as receiver with the Supreme Judicial Court. His request to the state's highest court comes after the Massachusetts Appeals Court - the state's second-highest court - rejected his request and after a federal judge rejected his demand for an immediate order to stop the city and Schrier from doing anything about the three decker, which now sits boarded up and has become a gathering spot for the rats attracted by the cat food Dickey had been putting out for months.

Dickey has successfully avoided being forced to do anything about the property for years now by filing repeated lawsuits and appeals in state and federal court. He once tried to go all the way to the US Supreme Court, which declined to hear his case.

At a hearing this morning, Schrier said Dickey is now "starting to show serious interest" in cleaning up the property at least enough so that an inspector can get into the second and third floors to determine whether the building can be salvaged. At a hearing last month, Schrier said his guess, based on an inspection of just the first floor, seemed to show the building could be rehabbed, but that it was impossible to say for sure because the fire took out one set of stairs to the upper floors and debris blocked the second stairway.

Schrier said Dickey, a Sudbury resident, told him he could do much of the cleanup himself and that he would store the stuff to be carted away at a farm he owns.

Judge MaryLou Muirhead set a status hearing for Aug. 17. She gave Schrier authority to buy liability insurance to cover any work, should Dickey decline.

Dickey attended today's hearing, but Muirhead refused to let him speak, because the ISD action is technically against the LLC he set up to own the house, and non-lawyers are not allowed to represent corporations in court. Dickey has always filed all of his suits and appeals and motions himself.

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Comments

What are the chances the clean up will actually occur by the end of the next month? After the Labor Day holiday of course just to give him additional time to clean everything.

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Voting closed 24

I still don't understand why the BRA hasn't taken it by eminent domain already. Isn't this house a perfect example for why the BRA was created in the first place? Why wait for this ISD process to complete? Just declare it "blight" and take it.

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Voting closed 28

* "Eminent Domain' takes time and money ... maybe a lot of each (or, did you plan on simply ignoring the law)?
* The funds to 'take' the property are not in their budget
* Once you own it, YOU OWN IT. Maintenance is on you.
* The agency involved (BRA, or other) does not ordinarily 'own' property.

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Voting closed 3

Has been used to take properties that were much more expensive. The BRA/BPD whatever could easily take over the property.

ISD could have Dickey all cocked up (as the British say) if they pushed the matter.

My questions:

What is Dickey waiting for?
Why has'nt ISD used the power they have?
Who does Dickey know that gums up the works?
Why isn't Mr. Mayor taking this on directly?

We know Mr. Mayor wants to see himself as someone having an overview of the city. But he has raw power that he could use in a situation such as this.

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Voting closed 6

Look up the Washington Park Urban Renewal Project.

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Voting closed 12

I hope that Stuart (whom I know) doesn't believe a word this guy says. I also hope that the neighbors will solicit help from Boston Animal Control, Angell Memorial, and the Animal Rescue League to deal with the feral cats. Quite frankly I am surprised that the neighbors haven't resorted to guerilla clean-up tactics themselves.

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Voting closed 22

I think you forgot the quotation fingers around pestering

...he would store the stuff to be carted away at a farm he owns.

Will Sudbury have an health inspector or something meet him at the town line to intercept whatever detritus he'd transport? I just see this turning into a garbarge barge or poop train scenario.

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Voting closed 7

"Muirhead refused to let him speak, because the ISD action is technically against the LLC he set up to own the house, and non-lawyers are not allowed to represent corporations in court"

Wow. What a scam by the legal industry.

Who besides the lawyers who profit off this rule would support it for businesses owned by one or two people?

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Voting closed 26

It's worse than that. Once had a land court hearing about my house. I went because my husband was out of town. I was able to discuss with the judge, but I couldn't officially speak because his name was on the deed, and not mine.

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Voting closed 27

They are not people.

In some areas of the country, they are still bound by different rules.

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Voting closed 33

are LLCs that consist of one [or a few] individual[s] only. They are almost exclusively used to keep the owner's liability to a minimum so they can dodge laws and tax rules.
And really I can hardly blame the court for not wanting to waste their time listening to someone who has no idea what they are doing [legally].
And if you own residential property it should be done as an individual with the sole intent to be an owner occupant. Any other kind of residential property ownership should be a capital crime.

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Voting closed 24

Remember the Mittster's "corporations are people" statement? Legally speaking, he was right. It doesn't matter if we're talking a single-member LLC or McDonald's -- the corporation stands apart as a thing from the owner, executives, shareholders and the board. It has its own legal interests and rights that can be harmed by the actions of others. As such, the owner can only represent the LLC in court if he is also an attorney who does not have a conflict of interest with the corporation.

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Voting closed 20

This actually makes sense to me. If you set up a corporation to shield yourself from the liability of the business, then you also give up the right to represent it as if it were your own personal affairs.

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Voting closed 18

The legal niceties are BS when encountered with a person who is deliberately creating a dangerous situation by attracting rats.

A government which can not effectively deal with a mucked up situation like this is a government that is dead.

But governments are people. So they take a while to realize how dead they are.

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Voting closed 18