By, David Bellow
A Lumberton, TX Landlord and a Lumberton, TX Justice of the Peace, Butch Cummings, have given a woman and 4 small children 5 days before they are kicked out on the street in an apparently illegal and pre-meditated act of retaliation. The mother is not past due on her rent and is only getting evicted because this concerned mother legally complained about health conditions of their trailer such as deadly mold and open electrical boxes with water flowing through them. This mother was told that the trailer was only “temporary” to begin with when they moved in and it has just been discovered that it was not even allowed to be rented in the first place because of the city inspection violations. The Fire Marshall even reported that there were over a dozen violations including a life threatening safety risk. The Judge seems to be friends with the landlord and kicked this mother out without an proper hearing and without even listening to the side of the mother or looking at the mother's evidence. It is illegal to evict someone for complaining about health conditions.
We have to spread the word and help keep this mother from getting put out on the streets illegally by a crooked judge and a slumlord.
Below is the written story, but first, here is a video of me talking with this family at the trailer house. The mother gets choked up talking about how she just does not want her kid to get hurt or anyone else in the trailer park to get hurt because of the safely hazards. This video shows the ceiling caving in and shows the water faucet that does not have a thermostat so that their kids could get scolded. It shows the light switch where the water flows through causing a shock risk and even shows the toilet paper outside where the sewer leaks.
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
here is the story of the Slumlord and the Crooked Justice of the Peace:
Jan and her husband moved to Lumberton, TX in October 2010. They were shown a decent trailer to move into. They paid the rent but come time to move in, the landlord sent them to a “temporary” trailer. This temporary trailer was not even allowed to be rented because of its unlivable conditions according to the city inspector (I am not sure why the City of Lumberton has not enforced these inspection results). Even though they were in the temporary trailer, Jan still paid her rent on time every month and is still current on her rent.
After some time of living in the temporary trailer without hearing anything from the landlord, Jan decided to get in touch with the landlord, Dawn Flemming, about when they could move into their original trailer. The landlord told her there is no other trailer and she is stuck where she is at. Jan then took the proper steps to file a complaint about the living conditions such as black mold, holes in roof, open electrical boxes, and sewer leaking into bathtub (click here to see photos of temporary trailer).
What Jan got in response to her complaint was an eviction notice and the actual reason for eviction, written on the eviction notice, was that she “complained too much”, even though Texas law strictly prohibits evictions that come as a result of a condition complaint. It is considered retaliation.
Her eviction hearing was yesterday, June 21st, 2011, in front of Lumberton, TX Justice of the Peace W.W. Butch Cummings. You might remember Butch Cummings because of the complaint against him that he coerced his opponent out of the election and threatened bodily harm if anyone opened their mouths about it. When Jan showed up to the eviction hearing the Property Manager, Dawn Flemming, was sitting and laughing with Butch Cummings like they were good friends. When Jan walked in, Butch Cummings asked Jan where she was from. Jan said she was from Florida. Butch Cummings said “you need to return to Florida” and gave Jan 5 days to leave. Jan was not given Due Process in the Judicial hearing and was not even allowed to show any evidence pertaining to the situation. The Property Manager said “I’ll find another sucker who won’t complain”.
Jan’s father is a building inspector from Florida. His name is Carl Dawson. He is the gentleman who contacted me about this entire incident. He said that his inspection of the trailer park showed that almost 80% of the trailers are not up to code and that many other tenants told him that they were threatened with eviction when they complained about the unlivable conditions.
Jan and Carl are already contacting agencies to send complaints to. I have encouraged them to also file a complaint with the Hardin County Attorney and the District Attorney because it appears that laws have been violated. I have also encouraged them to file a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Jan and Carl Dawson are more than happy to talk to the media about this injustice. They can be contacted by contacting David Bellow at 409 656 5128 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The name of the mobile home park is:
Country Pines Mobile Home Park
1119 S Main, Lumberton, TX 77657
Property Manager: Dawn Flemming
Property Owner: Loyle Rodgers
I have had people ask me why would this mother live there in the first place and also why doesn't she just move to a new place tomorrow. She got trapped into the old switch and bait... she was shown a good trailer when they were moving in but then were put into this "temporary" trailer. They did not know of all the problems at first and they did not expect to be there for long and they could not afford to lose the money they paid the landlord. Once these health problems became aware they started complaining and asked to have the problems fixed or for them to be moved in a trailer without life threatening safety issues. They were denied help and then got an eviction for complaining. They are low income and cannot just get up and move and they fully expected that the landlord would fix the problems. the landlord and the judge are the bad guys. This family just does not have the money to get themselves out of the situation but they are doing their best to cover the problem areas to protect the kids and to file a complaint to have the landlord fix it. It is the landlords responsibility to fix the trailer and it is illegal to evict someone after a health hazard complaint. If this family knew at the beginning that there were so many health problems or that the problems would never be fixed then they would have found somewhere else to live to begin with. It is just another example of low income individuals getting trapped in a situation that they do not have the money to get out of it. To top it off this jusge did not even accept any evidence from this family and told her she had 5 days to leave. She asked for 30 days to the finances together to find another place but she was told to just leave... all because she complained about life threatening conditions. This landlord and judge should be ashamed
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A Lumberton Texas Landlord and a Crooked Judge Kick Mother with 4 Kids Out on the Street in Illegal Act of Retaliation (Heartbreaking VIDEO)
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Oh stop it, the woman is poor and was shown a good trailer. When they moved in they were put in a temporary trailer. They did not have the money to just live in a hotel until they found a new place They were not aware of all the problems at first. Once they became aware they complained and the landlord illegally evicted them. The Judge complied with the illegal eviction. The judge should know Texas law and you cannot evict someone if they complain about safety hazards. The Judge did not even look at the evidence and is simply friends with the landlord.ReplyDelete
The woman did not put her kids in danger. The light switch had water running in it but the woman turned off the power to that side of the trailer. The woman made it to where her kids would not get killed by going without power to half of the trailer. The landlord should have fixed it.
This is a classic example of a SLUMLORD
Thank you for ur comment towards this family. What most ppl dont understand is NOT EVERYONE had the money to just their away and not EVERYONE can just get their parent to get them out of situations. We went through the same thing with them, it had few small problems u could see but all else was internal in the trailor. They seem like nice ppl but they proved to us they are very untrustworthy and uncaring. ~ Samantha SkinnerDelete
My name is Samantha Skinner. I feel fur this woman and her family so much not only because if her story but because I know for a fact how bad the living conditions there. My husband, our first son, and myself moved in there when I was pregnant with our second child last year. The trailor looked nice and we were told any of the problems, IF ANY AT ALL, could be easily fixed by them...that was a huge lie. Nit long after moving in we discovered the flor was made of ply wood that was caving in, the ac & heat didnt work, there were major leaks in the roof when it rained, the front & back door were rotting away on the side boards, no thermostat for the water , and more than half the outlets did not work, blew breakers, or sparked and there were NO PLACES FOR FIRE ALARMS. We made comments to them about the issues, and even after I had our 2nd child a month later they stil duff nothing. BOTH MY CHILDREN GOT SICK DUE TO HAVING NO HEAT IN WINTER AND COUNT PLUG IN HEATERS CAUSE OUTLETS WOULDNT WORK. My newborn was hospitalized for 2 weeks with the flu & hypothermia. AND THEY STILL DID NOTHING! Needless to say we moved as soon as we got put income tax in and they STILL tried taking us to court for it. From personal experience, DO NOT TRUST THESE PPL OR MOVE THERE IT IS NOT A SAFE PLACE FOR ANYONE TO LIVE!ReplyDelete