With a deed recorded Friday afternoon, a Quincy builder and contractor took ownership of what's left of a three decker at 97 Mt. Ida Rd., after years of legal efforts by its previous owner to get ISD to stop bothering him about the boarded-up eyesore.
Neighbors are hoping new owner Malcolm Barber, who has worked on a number of projects in Dorchester and South Boston, will soon start working to restore the property.
Eastern Housing Court Judge Marylou Muirhead actually approved Barber's $665,000 bid for the property in March, but the deed could not be recorded until after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled earlier this month that a receiver appointed by Muirhead could actually sell the property. Previous owner James Dickey lost the case in part because he'd set up an LLC to own the property and then insisted on representing it in court, despite state laws requiring corporations to be represented in court by a licensed attorney.
The receiver, real-estate attorney Stuart Schrier, will use the proceeds to pay off Dickey's mortgage on the property, the costs of cleanups done over the past year - including removing hundreds of cans of cat food and large amounts of debris - and paying off any liens and other debts associated with the property, including his own fee for acting as receiver.
The three decker suffered a fire in 2011 that left it uninhabitable. Dickey, who had already been feuding with ISD over conditions inside the building, launched a series of lawsuits in both state and federal court in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to get ISD to leave him alone that still bought him month after month of delay - often when he'd try to transfer a suit he filed in state court to federal court.
Dickey started out by alleging ISD was trying to deprive him of his due-process rights in ordering him to clean up the property, but later shifted to a different legal theory: That ISD and Housing Court judges were engaged in a conspiracy to deprive black homeowners of their properties. It was a theory that judges kept rejecting in part because Dickey is white, in part because he had nothing at all to do with the cases he claimed as proof of his theory.
Federal judges eventually told Dickey they were fed up with him and they were just not going to intervene in a dispute over the state sanitary code.
Housing Court will maintain supervision over the house until all violations are fixed and a certificate of occupancy is issued.