Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Wisconsin

I'm being sued by the city of Sheboygan WI because they took pictures of the outside of my house/roof and claimed it leaks and is stucturally unsound and needs replaced. I am unemployed and can't afford to replace a roof that doesn't leak. What can I do?

Asked on 6/05/12, 2:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Maxwell Livingston Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston

You can send a letter disputing that it leaks. If you do so, you should take pictures also (to prove your side of the story).

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Answered on 6/05/12, 3:01 pm
JAY Nixon nixon law offices

You need to retain a local lawyer who has lots of experience with your municipality as soon as possible; ideally someone who formerly worked for your city attorney's office but who recently left for private practice. There are often strict time limits for contesting municipal court matters and critical rights in terms of fighting proposed municipal orders usually expire along with those time limits. Once such rights have expired, it may become impossible to save your home from involuntary demolition by the city. My guess would be that the exterior appearance is probably more of an issue than the roof in any event, since they cannot tell from the outside whether or not a roof leaks, but can certainly tell if a property looks shabby and prompts complaints from the neighbors. A coat of paint and some of the basic repairs which go along with it can sometimes work wonders at a much lower cost than a new roof and might help your lawyer to convince the city that they should not have your home razed as a public nuisance. Finally, an estimate from a roofer (perhaps stating that only a few patches are needed if that is indeed the case) or roof inspection report may cost only a fraction of the cost of re-roofing. You may also be able to get financial assistance from the city (or through a nonprofit to whom they might refer you), or perhaps from your church, for performing some of these repairs once you verify to them that you are low income. My comments here are for public educational purposes only and are not legal advice specifically tailored to your specific situation. You should therefore retain a lawyer in order to meet your legal needs, or at least schedule a private consultation with one. I am not your attorney and will not be taking any action on your case. Disclosure of confidential information in a public web forum is not recommended and is always subject to possible use against you later, in court. However, you are welcome to contact my Racine, WI office at 262-633-3090 or email me at [email protected] with further questions. Web forum answers may contain attorney advertising materials.

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Answered on 6/05/12, 4:27 pm

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