MARTINSBURG - The City of Martinsburg has filed a suit against a city resident seeking to have him evicted from the duplex he has lived in without water since 2004.

The city filed a suit July 30 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Wayne Stokes. According to the suit, Stokes is a resident at 312 N. High Street in Martinsburg.

According to the lawsuit, water service to Stokes' home was turned off March 4, 2004, because he "refused to make necessary repairs to stop leaks in the plumbing system."

Stokes was served with citations Sept. 13, 2006, based on the absence of water to the property and the health and sanitation concerns because of that.

The Martinsburg Police Department received complaints that Stokes was "disposing of human waste, feces, in his trash can and 'crapping' into a trash can in front of the home," the suit says.

A warning was issued to Stokes on June 22, 2006, for the placement of waste, which could become dangerous to public health.

According to the suit, Stokes permitted Berkeley County Health Department officials to enter his home, where they reported a large accumulation of rubbish and water damage to the ceiling.

In a Municipal Court hearing, Stokes claimed he would make the necessary repairs so that water could be resumed. According to the suit, the property owner was informed of the health and fire hazards and advised that the problems in Stokes' house directed affected the unit attached to it.

On Sept. 13, 2006, the property was condemned. Stokes was told to move, but as of the date the suit was filed, he still resides are the residence.

The city, through attorney Claudia Bentley, seeks an order to have Stokes move out of the home immediately.

The case has been assigned to Judge David Sanders.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 07-C-713

More News