West Virginia Record

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Men sue Milton, officials for demolishing two structures

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 14, 2019

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HUNTINGTON —Two men are suing the city of Milton and its mayor and code enforcement official, alleging the city wrongfully demolished two properties instead of one.

Timothy Duncan and Kevin Justice filed the lawsuit against Milton, Mayor Tom Canterbury and Joshua Jackson, a code enforcement official for the city, according to a complaint filed Oct. 4 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Duncan and Justice claim are the owners of two free-standing structures situated on a lot in Milton, one is a single-family residence and the other is a multi-unit apartment building.

The plaintiffs claim the city knew the residence and the apartment building were independent structures with distinct addresses, however, in 2015, they received a notice of violation that said one of the properties was unsafe.

In 2016, Jackson presented the plaintiffs with a proposed agreement regarding "the demolition of a residential structure located at 710 Mason Street," according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim in September 2017, the defendants caused both the residence, as well as the apartment building, to be demolished.

The defendants failed to provide any notice of the alleged violations for the apartments and failed to permit them to respond to any alleged violations for the apartments, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to provide sufficient notice of their intent to demolish the apartments and at no point were they provided with any due process regarding the unlawful taking of the apartments and, as a result, they were deprived of their real property.

Canterbury knew or should have known that the apartments were a separate structure with a distinct address from the residence and breached his duty owed to the plaintiffs as mayor of Milton.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are represented by J. Tanner James of JTJ Law in Barboursville.

Cabell Circuit Court Case number: 19-C-445

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