US Supreme Court to Dorchester eyesore owner: Go away

Mt. Ida wreck

On Monday, James Dickey of Sudbury got some bad news from the US Supreme Court: It would not hear his allegations that city efforts to board up or even raze his derelict shell of a fire-ravaged three decker at 97 Mt. Ida Rd. in Dorchester violated his civil rights.

But that hasn't stopped Dickey, who has done nothing to fix up the property since a fire in August of 2011: On Thursday, he moved to transfer a related case - in which the city now wants a housing-court judge to hire a receiver with the power to order the structure torn down - to federal court.

If past actions by judges and Dickey are any guide, this newest attempt could buy Dickey seven or eight more months of being allowed to not do anything about the property, which the city and neighbors say is not just an eyesore but rat infested. He's already won yet another breather - a housing-court judge who'd been scheduled to rule yesterday whether to grant the city request called off the hearing after learning of Dickey's attempt to "remove" the case to federal court again.

The city has been trying since 2013 to get Dickey to do something about the fire-damaged property, which, in an era of explosive property values in Boston, has declined in value by roughly half since 2007. At first, Dickey won in Suffolk Superior Court, where a judge granted him a stay against any city action, but a Superior Court judge then lifted that in 2016 and the city went into housing court to get an order demanding Dickey do something - or let it tear the house down and then put a lien on the property for the cost.

Last May, Dickey sought to transfer the case to federal court, alleging the way the city had a contractor put up plywood boards that now cover most of the building's windows violated his constitutional right to due process.

Three months later, a federal judge agreed with the city there were no civil-rights issues involved, that the city was simply seeking to follow the state sanitary code, which deals with such things as rat infestations.

Dickey appealed that ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, which ruled in December that the district-court judge was right and the case belonged in state housing court.

Dickey then appealed to the US Supreme Court, where the clerk's office on Monday issued a simple statement to the appeals court and Dickey:

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Dickey's latest effort to get the city to let the property alone involves allegations that ISD and the housing court are involved in a conspiracy to deprive blacks of their property and sell it off at a fraction of their values to whites. Dickey himself is white.

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Comments

Bad link

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The "read more" link goes to a page that doesn't exist. I can read it if I try to post a comment, though.

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Fixed

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Sorry and thanks.

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Can we go demonstrate at his

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Can we go demonstrate at his house in Sudbury? maybe we can bring some of his pet rats with us.

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End Game?

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Would someone please explain his end game? Does he just want to keep the property as it is? Sell it? Fix it up eventually? sticking it to the government?

I don't get what he is after.

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It seems like even if he were

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It seems like even if he were just having some difficulty finding contractors or scrounging up the funds to get it done, by this time, he could have at least made steps toward dealing with the vermin problem and some medium-term compromise on the exterior. At least show willing, man.

I do have some sympathy because it took a good 2-3 years after buying to rip down my eyesore dry-rotting front deck and replace the gap-toothed fence, between permitting and scheduling and just plain old human drama. A solid year before there was exterior-visible evidence of work being done at all. It was a demoralizing and humiliating time, and I'm grateful my neighbors were patient.

But there have to be common-sense limits. And once the actual structure is compromised, just forget it, dude. Let it the freak go.

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Damn good question

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First, we have concluded (see earlier thread) that he's crazy.

The shocking thing is that in his court filings he repeatedly and unashamedly plays the race card, but now we learn the guy is white. It just makes absolutely no sense, which brings us back to my first conclusion.

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? - what

What is the possible constructive motive or thinking behind posting this picture?

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I'll type slowly.

Maybe you'll get it. There was a meme among the kiddies a few years back involving a 'troll' picture. I've posted this one before, I'll do it again for reference.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Em5y8ob.jpg)

OK, so it's like this...a white guy is actually claiming in a court of law that the City is trying to take his property from black people and give it to whites.

So, as has been pointed out here already, maybe he's crazy or smart or whatever.

Me? I think he's just trolling the system all the way up to the Supreme Court, which obviously didn't see any pressing constitutional issues.

So, he's the ultimate troll.

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Type as slow as you want (feeling a little defensive?)

Your explanation is fairly fractured logic. It is pictures exactly like this that bigots and racists use to depict people of color is disparaging ways. Your intent may have been benign but your judgement is left wanting. Coupled without an explanation, it sure seems pretty offensive.

Part of the wisdom one gains as an adult is that innate sense and knowledge that sometimes doing or saying things have a greater potential for doing more harm than good. Humor is fine - fail to see how a picture that is typically used to show black people in a negative light can easily be incorporated into a humorous narrative.

You have a right to express yourself in pretty much anyway you want - just as I have a right to tell you what I think of your expressions.

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Spoken like a Berkeley student

"You have a right to express yourself in pretty much anyway you want..."

And yet, you call for the post to be deleted.

So, retreat to your safe space and enjoy the kitteh.

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Argumentum ad Personam

An attack directed against a person rather than against his argument is an admission that your "humor" pretense was fallacious - you reveal yourself further by attempting to appeal to the emotions of those that share your views rather than to logic or reason.

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Neither am I.

They're Trump-crazed progressives that lack humor. OTOH, Swirl probably got it, she seems to be up on her memes a bit.

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You aren't

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You're not wrong that people don't "get it", but not for the reasons you think. Your troll/meme/whatever you are trying to say seemed a little dated and didn't make sense.

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Or...

...just read the explanation. Delete it if you feel the need. It's an attempt at a little humor in what appears to be an absolutely insane situation that's costing the City a pile of money in legal fees.
Fees that are added on as a lien, probably, but if it doesn't sell for a lot, the City can lose a pile here.

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Contra Factum Non Valet Argumentum

The changing of the picture if hardly an effective argument against the fact that for whatever reasoning you might attempt to offer, you posted a stereotypical racist photo - attempted humor is no more a valid argument than if you insised there was no racial animosity underling your actions

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Grievance Collector

Dickey has lost 4 or more agency and/or judicial hearings beginning as early as 2008. In once case he tried to sue a former tenant who testified in court (at a Inspection Services hearing) that the witness’ answers to questions defamed him. The court threw the case out relying on anti-SLAPP doctrine.

Dickey is, IMO, a Grievance Collector - he is someone who goes out of his way to collect whatever he feels are social slights, historical grievances, injustices, unfair or disparate treatment, or wrongs—whether real or imagined - there is no end game for them - it the process of seeking redress or retribution that is important - they continue fighting until a new issue comes along to divert their attention.

There are a few Grievance Collector (aka: Injustice Collectors) that periodically show up on this board - I have heard, by the way,that there is a high correlation of those who exhibit this dysfunctional behavior and individuals who were former residents of Burlington, VT. I have not, however, found empirical evidence to support this hypothesis.

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Hey Dave...

.
Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: That's not funny.

You're a sad, humorless person. Me, OTOH, I'm having a ball.

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Not to mention

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His legal fees over time are probably = what it would cost to renovate the building!

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Relatively low legal fees

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Throughout it all, he's represented himself, which means his costs are limited to filing fees, which, granted, can add up, and possibly copying fees, at least for his state filings, maybe (federal courts now require electronic filing, I don't know about state courts).

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Possibly...

...if it's not done in good faith, like if he appears to be just trolling the system, the City's costs could possibly be added as a lien on the property.

This could backfire on him in a very expensive way.

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Friend who lives near there

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Friend who lives near there says that he maintains he can't sell it because it's been in his family for years. There was a situation like that near me except house was in better repair. just sat there empty until the owner died and the kids sold the house.

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Does anybody else have a part

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Does anybody else have a part claim on the property, the value of it or the income from it?

Maybe an ex-wife - the divorce settlement says she's supposed to get half the income from the property and he'd rather let it rot so there is no income?

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Sometimes ownership gets diffused

Sometimes an owner dies without kids and under the terms of his will the property gets split among his first cousins, who are 23 in number living all across the country and some overseas.

One 23rd interest in a derelict house you've never seen barely gets anyone's attention, much less anyone's time and effort, so unless one or two cousins manage to buy it from the others, the property languishes.

It is also hard to sell, first because you need to get all the cousins to agree and to notarize an affidavit, and then the title search company is going to go nuts wondering if all the cousins have been found etc.

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Property rights vs rats

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Even if the court grants delays and moves slowly for whatever reasons, including concern for due process and property rights, rats infestation is a more immediate problem for the neighborhood.

Dickey should be ordered by whatever court is hearing a current case to address the rats within one week and then ongoing from there, or the city be granted explicit permission to do so and charge him for it (lien).

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Court process part of the problem?

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The more I learn about the process of litigation the more I believe that process of justice is damaged. The administration of justice often takes too long and is based on how much money a litigant has to spend.

Shall we make America great? Reform the judicial system - national and state - so that it is quick. No case should take more than one year unless there are clear and absolute reasons for making the exception. No one should be able to manipulate the various levels of executive and judicial administration when something as obvious as falling down, rat infested property is concerned.

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Lofty Goals

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Nice to have lofty goals.

So where would you start that there has already not been litigation because someone was abused?

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