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Swere liens and tennant rights


BTO429
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A few months ago I went to court over city sewer liens.

The house I was living in back in 2009 I was renting. There was no lease agreement.

The landlord did not pay the sewer bills. Since I was the renter I can be included in the complaint.

Under city codes in states that the only way a tenant can be found libel for the bill is if there was a lease, I argued this in court but the judge found against me any how. Jointly and severally with my landlord.

I went to the court house today to see if the liens have been paid, I come to find out that there are four liens, each 432 dollars. Thats 1728 total.

I need to pay these because the courts are trying to file a lien on the property I live in now in a different county, plus they are on my CR.

My question is what grounds would I have if I paid these liens to recuop the money plus applicable interest, and if any pain and suffering could be asked for in the complaint due to the suffering of having to deal with unpaid bills that I am not legally entitled to pay.

Indiana codes and the Indiana Supreme court have made decisions in several cases involving sewer liens and the Supreme Court concluded that Although the statutes do not specifically authorize a municipality to transfer tenants’ delinquent sewer balances to the property owner’s account, the liability is the owner’s. Billing the tenant is a convenience afforded the owner, but the owner is ultimately responsible for the sewer service.

And the court concluded; In sum, the statutes provide that owners are responsible for fees incurred by renters, and those fees can be collected from the deposit or by a civil action. However, the statutes do not require municipalities to collect delinquent fees from tenants. Ultimately, whoever owns the property at the time fees are incurred remains responsible for the fees, and the municipality can foreclose a lien against the property.

I went to a lawyer and asked him to appeal but he did not get the appeal in in the 30 day time limit.

Now I have to deal with this, so I am looking for some help and any angles I may have that I overlooked in recovering this money from the landlord.

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Jointly and severally means the landlord is still on the hook with you. They'll take the money from either party. Maybe it would be in your interest to provide a sherriff with some bank account information, etc about the landlord, if you have any. If you paid the rent by check, the info would be on the back. Also, do you know where he lives? It would be a shame if somebody stole his garbage the night before collection.

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Yes I know where he lives. I do understand jointly and severely, I am a law student.

I was just asking to see if any one could come up with any angles I could use to form a case that I may have missed.

I also thought maybe it would be a good question so others could learn from my situation.

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Looks like the judge made a bad ruling and the attorney you went to didn't file the appeal in time? Why not? Usually all you have to do is file a notice to appeal, which takes about five minutes. That gives you time to file the actual appeal. What about a motion to vacate the judgment based upon judicial error? Surely there must be some motion you can still file.

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Guest usctrojanalum

can't do a motion to vacate on a judges decision. have to appeal a decision from a judge. could maybe try a motion for re-argument but judges usually take the attitude of if you don't like the decision appeal it and routinely deny these motions.

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I am not worried about appealing its too late.

What I am aiming to do is pay these judgments and then sue my former land lord for reimbursement.

I was told by my landlord that he will not pay them. As far as I know the house is in the middle of be foreclosed on dues to the unpaid liens. But I am not sure about this.

I am not worried about them attaching or garnishing any of my wages because I am a disabled veteran and I receive VA disability.

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You pay, then file suit to recover. That's sort of the point of joint and several- the plaintiff gets recovery from the easiest park to seek recovery from without having to further litigate among defendants. The defendants then after the fact duke it out amongst themselves to apportion liability.

So pay it and clear it up. Then sue the landlord for the full reimbursement. I'm not that well versed in state civ pro so you need to research how to do this in your state. But it can be done.

Now whether or not you actually can monetize your judgment is the next step. Does your state have wage garnishment? Was your landlord an individual or a corporation? Do you know what bank the landlord used? Questions that all need to be thought about before doing anything. You can always lien the property but it didn't seem to work for the city sewer authority, so it likely won't work for you.

Added: did you sign an agreement with attorney to file an appeal? If so, and he/she did not do what was required, then looks to be a case of malpractice insurer notification for said attorney.

Edited by jq26
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