ED Magedson – Founder
City of Dallas2014 Main Street Dallas, Texas United States of America
Why does the City of Dallas find ways to cheat it's very own Taxpayers by filing bogus violations? Unfortunately it is poorly run and although Dallas Property taxes are approximately 25% higher than those of neighboring cities (such as Austin), the extra money is not being put back into the city. We have horrible public schools and dangerous streets full of potholes. Where is our money going, and why does the City constantly find ways to try to cheat more money out of it's very own Taxpayers.
Dallas Code enforcement officers drive around the City trying to find anything that could come close to a violation so that the citizens and taxpayers will be fined and then have to pay more money to the City of Dallas.
Unfortunately we had some storm damage to our freestanding garage. We are working on fixing the damage and received a violation from Code Compliance Officer Baldwin. I called him and he told me that I just needed to keep the property safe and to take away the damaged debris from the storm. That was in March 2010.
In May 2010, we then had some other unexpected repairs to our old house (almost 100 years old), so the repairs to the garage had to be put on hold for a bit. I called officer Baldwin to let him know that we were still working on the garage, but that it would be a little more delayed.
I never heard back from him, but in September I received a violation from the City of Dallas stating that our garage was now "substandard". I called officer Baldwin and asked why he never bothered to tell me that I was in violation and to ask exactly what he meant by "substandard". We were fixing the garage in a very nice manner using as much of the old materials that we could but adding lots of support to make it safe as he had requested. He had asked me to clean up the area and remove the debris. I did that and never heard from him again.
Why was I now getting a violation with a fine of $386? He called back to tell me that it is not his job to have to communicate with me if I am not complying by their standards, and that the garage repair was taking too long. I asked what the time deadline on a garage repair should be. I was never given a straight answer. Only that I was taking too long. He did say that most likely the judge would hear my case and dismiss the violation as long as I could show that I was trying to comply.
That was not the case. I went to the hearing and argued that the violation was bogus. The garage was not substandard at all, in fact it was actually above the standards for garages in that area of Dallas. I had pictures of the repairs we were making and the judge (Kaufman) even agreed that the structure looked good and from the pictures, the repair appeared to be done well. But the work was unfinished and was taking too long, so he said that he would rule that the garage was indeed "substandard".
Even he admitted that the work appeared to be done right. He contradicted himself here. Why admit the work appears to be done well, and then rule it "substandard".
He hinted why to me when he stated "I'm just trying to do what the elected City Officials would like me to do".
Is he insinuating here that he KNEW that my garage was not substandard (as he even stated when he said it looks like it is being repaired correctly, but that the City of Dallas needs more money, so they will conform the rules to fit my case to make more money for Dallas? I think so.
Basically there seems to be no law that gives a time deadline on a repair like this one. I asked both the Code Compliance Officer Baldwin and Judge Kaufman what the standard timeline is and never got a straight answer. Only that I was taking too long.
So because there is no law stating what the time deadline is, and the City of Dallas needs more money, they are using the word "substandard" in the wrong context so that the case fits more people just to get more money from it's taxpayers.
I wish someone with more time than me would file a class action lawsuit against the City of Dallas on behalf of all of us taxpayers that were wrongly fined for bogus violations. I'm sure there are many, many more people throughout Dallas in very similar situations.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/18/2010 02:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/city-of-dallas/dallas-texas-/city-of-dallas-code-compliance-city-of-dallas-code-compliance-unjustly-fines-dallas-taxpay-652421. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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