Remember the Bartons? And their eviction that was called off by Seattle’s mayor?
“‘A group of activists from Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE) sat outside Mayor Ed Murray’s office for four hours today, asking that he intervene to prevent the eviction of veteran and his wife from their West Seattle home, until the mayor and his chief of staff came out and met with them this afternoon.
According to SAFE organizer Josh Farris, Murray told them ‘the SPD is not coming’ to evict Byron and Jean Barton, and that he’d let the activists know if anything changes.'”
And then a lawsuit by the party that bought the Barton’s home at a foreclosure auction tried to get a writ of mandamus to make the mayor and the city police arrest the Bartons for trespassing–but the judge ruled against it?
“ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:36 AM: Just in: King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman has rejected Triangle Property Development‘s petition for a “writ of mandamus” which would basically have forced Seattle Police to arrest Jean and Byron Barton for trespassing, as they continue to occupy the Morgan Junction home from which they were evicted last month, three months after Triangle bought it at a foreclosure auction. The judge’s ruling comes five days after a hearing on the issue (WSB coverage here). Judge Spearman wrote that SPD has discretion on whether to make an arrest in a situation like this, and that an “extraordinary” move such as a writ of mandamus is not appropriate for compelling an action in which there is discretion.”
Well, all that has been undone now, and a disabled veteran has been arrested and evicted from his home, thanks to the Kings County Sheriff’s concern about the “victimization” of Triangle Property Development (the entity that purchased the Barton home at the foreclosure auction) because “politics” has been “allowed to ride roughshod over the rule of law“:
“’There are no winners in this situation, not the least of which is Mr. Barton, who is gravely disabled, and was living in extremely unsanitary and therefore dangerous conditions’, said Sheriff John Urquhart. ‘But Triangle Property Development, the lawful owner of the home, is a victim of bureaucratic inaction and back-and-forth finger-pointing between the City of Seattle and the Sheriff’s Office. That is inexcusable and that’s why I ordered today’s action. When politics is allowed to ride roughshod over the rule of law, everyone suffers. I was not willing to let that continue,‘ Urquhart added.”
What the good sheriff apparently fails to understand is that the Bartons have cast doubt on whether or not Triangle Property Development is in fact the “lawful owner of the home” and there is ongoing litigation about that very question. Howard and Nova-Lee Graber can certainly relate to this kind of treatment, since the overall details are substantially the same: disabled husband, attempt to litigate the matter ignored, forcibly removed by police.
What the good sheriff also fails to understand is that maybe the Bartons have a little more to lose here than Triangle Property Development. Well, not maybe–definitely. This stance of the sheriff’s will have to be remembered when election time rolls around again…
(h/t Shelley Erickson)
UPDATE: WHO IS TRIANGLE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT?
Here is video of Triangle Property Development’s Wendy Klahr talking to the press about the Bartons:
And this, from a post from SAFE’s Facebook page about the issue:
“Weird update from today. Company founder, Wendy Klahr, of Triangle Property Development LLC is stating a fact not in evidence. She says they own the property. I have to stress that this issue is in the courts. There is a civil case of the Barton family versus JP Morgan Chase which concerns the illegitimate foreclosure by the bank. This property is in a civil land dispute. There is a legal challenge to the foreclosure of the property which would void the sale in which Triangle purchased the home. Shall I repeat that? There is a legal challenge to the foreclosure of the property which would void the sale in which Triangle purchased the home. Is the stress here on conforming to the law? You bet your ass. She has no standing to claim her company owns the property and THAT’S JUST THE SIMPLE TRUTH. “