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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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Sir/Madam, I filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2008 for debt

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I filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2008 for debt reorganization to protect all property, the car and to pay my debtors. I was about to lose everything and in order to avoid total financial ruin, I opted for this course of action...I needed my car to work and the house for my family. During this time, I was still devastated from the recent death of my parent who left me her house - it was included in the chapter 13 bankruptcy for protection.

I will not go into lengthy details of my depression, stress and anxiety except to say this - the city in which the inherited property was located, the family home (residence of deceased grandparents, mother, but memorable for great family gatherings,etc) was demolished by the city in the latter part of 2009. Prior to the demolition, someone had filed a complaint about the front and backyard in need of trimming, so I paid to have the situation resolved in accordance to the complaint by the city. In terms of the house, it was in good condition (made of brick) compared to the house(made of wood) next door with a porch that had fallen to the ground with overgrowth on the property, but yet my property was targeted by someone. No one had cut the overgrowth on that property.

The city sent mail that the house needed to be renovated and meet city code. No one was occupying the house, I didn't have electricity or water turned on. It was a beautiful home while other property besides the one next door needed attention, also.

I live out-of-state where my mom's house was located. Since she lived with me for a while, I had to file probate in two states. The house was in probate at the time of demolition and I had the house and property in my chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I had wanted the house to be my retirement home. Besides that, the man-in-charge had forced entry into the house. My grandmother's secretary ( piece of furniture where you can write letters, store books) was stolen out of the living room. I was mortified because it was from the early 1900's. I was unable to get all of my family's valuables from the attic, inside the house or basement.

I haven't been able to go back on the property site since all of this happened. The last time I saw my house (mom's home) was when it was still standing. I am distraught after all this time.

Please advise legally what I can do. I feel the city was wrong. I tried to tell them to not destroy the house, the probate attorney called and talked to the city attorney before the demolition to stop it. At the time, everything was mind-blowing to me. NOW, that time has passed, I know that they were wrong. My assets were protected, but in the end, the city destroyed my house, stole family treasures and left me feeling violated. AGAIN, the house and property were in my chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state that I filed. Since this is a US Bankruptcy court concern, I feel that the city should have known that it was protected. My bankruptcy attorney purposely told me to include it. At first, I didn't understand why, but she advised me to do it and I followed her directive.

I want to file a lawsuit against the city, so please advise the different kinds of lawyers capable to doing this for me.

I await your response. Thanks so much!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name isXXXXX very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from this information.


If there is some evidence to show that the city was put on notice that the home was included in the BK before the city demolished it, then you have a case to hold the city in contempt of a federal court order. This can be pursued by a bankruptcy lawyer who can try to reopen your BK case and file an adversary proceeding against the city.


Normally a city has governmental immunity that protects them from lawsuits. However there are exceptions where the city has waived immunity and allows itself to be sued. You will need to hire a lawyer in the town where the demolished home was located to sue the city. There type of lawyers specialize in municipal litigation, civil rights litigation and civil litigation or real estate litigation.


Most of the lawyers you will find that do municipal litigation defend the city. So you may have to ask an organization for a referral to find a plaintiff's lawyer that does this type of work.




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