Live In An Ugly House In Ellisville, Go To Jail

Remember, citizen, your property rights are conferred upon you by your government. As this story illustrates, your government can arrest you and run you out of town at its displeasure at your standards of maintenance:

An inspection found the homeowner in violation of five housing laws. The roof was too worn; the driveway was cracked and shifted; the trim, siding, doors and windows had exposed surfaces from a lack of paint; there was open storage alongside the house and in the backyard; and the posts that once held up a fence needed to come down.

Despite the letter, the violations remained. Court dates came and went. Hordesky didn’t show. In March, the municipal judge issued warrants for his arrest. Ellisville police officers searched for him at his house. No one answered the door, but the back entrance was unlocked. They later went inside and snapped pictures.

The house was deemed a health hazard, and the electricity and gas were turned off. A condemnation notice was stapled to the front door. The city brought in St. Louis County’s Problem Properties Unit, which routinely handles similar cases. Jeff Young and Rehagen, the two inspectors who work the southern half of the county, have a caseload of roughly 135 properties. They encounter hoarders often, but seldom in upscale neighborhoods.

The day of his arrest, Hordesky posted a $500 bond. After discussions with the Problem Properties Unit, Hordesky eventually agreed to sell the house. He recently provided the city prosecutor with a sales contract, and the closing date is in mid-August.

Please, don’t offer defenses of the community here, for we cannot have a discussion. A priori we differ enough that I won’t want to hear exactly what arbitrary standard you feel justifies this government taking.

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