Man Who Repaired Rundown Fair Park Home Bought From City Sues to Halt Its Demolition

Categories: City Hall

3820_Atlanta_beforeandafter.jpg
Courtesy of Google Streetview, the before photo of 3820 Atlanta St. alongside a picture we took of the same property yesterday afternoon.
The majority of neighborhoods surrounding Fair Park are riddled with vacant, boarded-up homes and empty lots. Atlanta Street is no exception.

Across from the Park South Family YMCA, Todd Russell bought a 672-square-foot house in June 2009 from the city to save it from demolition. But less than a month later, the city sued Russell in order to proceed with razing the 86-year-old structure.

Now he's filed a lawsuit of his own to prevent the city from tearing down the restored dwelling. According to the complaint filed on Wednesday, Russell cut tree branches, removed 75 feet of honey comb embedded into the side of the structure, replaced windows, gutted the interior, tore down a storage shed, erected fence poles, repaired the porch, painted the house, and installed new shingles, a new water and sewer system and an aluminum skirt around its base.

Russell, who's representing himself and is identified as a full-time college student in the suit, alleges judicial misconduct by Administrative Judge Victor Lander for ordering the demolition as "a personal vendetta" and perjury by code inspector Henry Trevino, along with claiming his Fourth Amendment right protecting him against an unlawful seizure has been violated.

He says Lander and the city ignored the renovations and ordered the demolition based on the property being vacant and remaining in the same condition.

Russell is also seeking compensatory damages.

We called Mary Supino, who's the assistant city attorney named in the suit as prosecuting the case, but she left the City Attorney's Office to become the city secretary in Arlington. Instead, we spoke with First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers, who says he's "99 percent sure" that the city hasn't been served yet. However, Bowers said the city will inspect the property before it proceeds with demolition.

We're waiting to hear back from Russell, although his concerns are well-documented in his petition, which you can find after the jump.

Russell v City

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17 comments
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Michael
Michael

I hope Russell wins and the judges arrogance and abuse of power are exposed for all to see. The arrogance of city/state/federal officials is absolutely disgusting. These "officials" don't serve the people anymore! They serve themselves and their own agenda's! Who cares how Russell paid for the repairs! At least he is in college and not wasting "federal funding" at BS colleges that offer nothing and simply rape the system while making MILLIONS.

md
md

The tax office values the structure at $2,710.

I'm fairly certain that if the city doesn't demolish the structure, his future tenants will.

What's my name?
What's my name?

some big time developer needs that property.

ya'll best just move on...ya here?

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

As a city worker told me "Dallas is owned by developers". I guess that the city just can't resist pimping yet another home owner to a developer.

DowntownAndOut
DowntownAndOut

This guy can't afford a $200 fine because he is unemployed and living off of student loans and grants? I think it is illegal to use student loan money to purchase and rehab a house. This doesn't excuse the city's actions, but he may not want to continue making all of his expenditures a matter of public record.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Seems like he's getting quite an education, so maybe those loans are being used for the intended purpose.

Municipal Sink Pit
Municipal Sink Pit

Pure evil enveloped in a grinding bureaucracy that knows an individual acting alone can be crushed.

Where is the Dallas Bar Association pro se clinic or pro bono groups to help this kid along?

Rooster
Rooster

Didn't grease enought South Dallas politician palms...

Doug
Doug

Yep...he forgot to spread around an adequate amount of "equity"...

Montemalone
Montemalone

I would like to know the dollar amount this fiasco is/has/andwill cost the city.It should be deducted from the salary of everyone involved, including Lady Mary.

Anonymous
Anonymous

-Plaintiff has had "Bees" removed from inside a wall.-Has had the yard mowed and raked numerous times.

Those two items just make me laugh for some reason.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

So "bees" is in quotes because it wasn't clear if they were really bees?

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

I'm rooting for the guy but representing himself and accusing a judge of perjury isn't a recipe for success.

Michael
Michael

Russell just needs a little media attention and the Judge will have to answer to these allegations. This really does disgust me.. Judges and other city officials have an arrogance that is unbecoming of a person that holds a position where they should be protecting the citizens and communities. Tearing this house down serves no good to anyone especially after all of the work Russell has put into the house.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Funny how that works, city wants to demolish property, gets offer for property, city takes the money, still wants to demolish. Seems pretty shady on the city, but Im sure they will get their way, they always do

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Dallas once ago proves that the left hand does not know what the right hand is stealing.

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