Do The Police Have A Right To Lie To You? Shouldn’t you be able to trust the man supposed to keep you safe and protect you?

March 1, 2015

While driving to dinner recently feeling loving and happy, we chatted about the wonderful dinner we expected to have and what we might chose to eat.

We had just turned into an Industrial Park and passed a Fairfield police patrol car. Suddenly the cruiser turned around and pulled us over.

The officer approached the car and asked if we knew why we were pulled over and my husband asked if we might have been going faster than the posted limit (he truly was not sure as it is an industrial park and there was no speed limit sign)? The officer responded “I clocked you at 42 in a 25” very sternly. I came closer to the window and explained “we were going out to dinner and had been happily chatting, not intentionally speeding, certainly not in a hurry and asked for leniency.”

The officer, once again very sternly replied, “I clocked you on radar and since all my actions are recorded I am unable to do that – I HAVE to give you a ticket.” As it turns out, a police officer friend of mine confirmed that was NOT TRUE.  A police officer’s radar does not dictate his actions unless he determines action is required!

Now, we will concede we exceeded the speed limit BUT it was NOT intentional and it was in an industrial park at 6:30 PM where one would never expect the speed limit to be 25 with no traffic.  We also realize ignorance is not an excuse, but once the officer saw hubby had no tickets, warnings, or accidents in the last 30 years – he could have provided the requested leniency for “accidentally” speeding.

This is especially disconcerting when someone responds to your story and relays a tale about the time they got pulled over for speeding and their tags were expired but the officer let them go with a “promise” they would get their tags renewed the next day – no ticket – no warning  – and all it took was a promise.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

I truly believe a police officer’s responsibilities are to provide safety to all people in his jurisdiction, stop real criminals, fight the drug war, prevent crime, ticket blatant unsafe drivers, and protect and serve the innocent – not tell lies to the people in the township who pay his salary, namely you and me.

Beware of Todd Sauter of Sauter Custom Tile

March 25, 2012

In May of 2011 I contacted http://www.servicemagic.com, where you get matched to a screened and approved contractor for the kind of project you are looking to complete in your home. I was searching for a tile contractor to re-grout my twelve year old bathroom and was given the names of three contractors from their “approved” list. After receiving quotes from two of the three, I chose Sauter Custom Tile in Mason Ohio because his quote was the best and his website showed beautiful work. When I met with the owner, Todd Sauter, he also had beautiful pictures of his work on his telephone.
Once he came to start the work we ran into a snag in removing the old grout and he suggested replacing the tile completely as it would cost less than trying to remove the old grout. He would give us his “contractor” discount on the actual materials and could start the job immediately reducing the down time on the bathroom considerably.
We chose a beautiful classico ivory matt finish with a glass aloe green accent stripe with a small somerset edge (like a chair rail) at eye level through the entire bath. It was an exquisite design that went wonderfully with our color scheme!
Before I realized that Todd’s attention to detail was ridiculously low, I had also contracted and purchased tile to do the back splash in the kitchen as well.
I had to call his attention to multiple issues in both the kitchen and bathroom that were obviously done incorrectly and several times, with what I feel were ultimately, disastrous results.
Issues with the Bathroom (you can click on any picture to see a higher resolution/bigger version):


He installed the original recess in the bathroom which was crooked (please note how the outside border does not match the inside border of the accent tile) and then left for the weekend! Also note that the bull nose was “cut and pasted” in the most haphazard way possible as seen below. I was so horrified that he would leave the bathroom in that condition and not even notice the recess was crooked, I immediately called and pointed out that as well as the bull nose issue and let him know how disappointed I was with the quality of his work. He assured me he would be back on Monday and make any/all corrections to give me a high comfort level in his work. He told me several times during that conversation that he takes great pride in his work and fix the issues we discussed without a doubt to my satisfaction. I certainly felt better about Todd after that discussion but had the entire weekend to stew about the recess as shown below:

Bullnose issue - Crooked Recess

1. Upon his return on Monday he seemed surprised, even confused he would have installed such a crooked recess and apologized for his mistake. He assured me that once the bull nose was grouted the apparent haphazard nature of the installation would be seamless to the naked eye and not to worry.
Rather than take a chance on another problem with the recess, I asked him to remove the stripe and install a complete aloe green glass background which actually cost me $30 in extra materials which he never offered to repay me for. The final grout job on the bull nose was in fact TOO UNACCEPTABLE FOR WORDS and I did call him back and asked him if he would want that in his own bathroom to which he replied, no.  So I asked him to tear it out and re-do it. (sorry, no picture of that one as I lost my hard drive) The second time was somewhat better, certainly not perfect, but I could not take the chance on another attempt so it is with regret that I decided to try to live with it. My husband kept cautioning me if he could not do it right the first time why would I keep calling him back to try to fix things a second, third and fourth time, but I felt I paid for a service and wanted to be satisfied and certainly wasn’t going to pay someone else after I paid Todd.

Here is a picture of the final recess. You tell me if you feel it was a job you could live with? Please notice the difference of the grout in the right and left corners and the dreadful caulk job in the corners of the glass – and it is hard to see but the bull nose on the bottom of the recess is not flat and seam less as it should be – and that was his second attempt!!!! Had this been done correctly, it would have been beautiful don’t you think?

Bathroom Recess done second time
2. He broke the somerset trim in multiple places – when I questioned him, he again told me I would not notice the cracks once they were grouted – another incomplete truth as shown in the following photos – I was livid to say the least! ( not to mention the lovely silicone grout job in the corner in the second picture covering up the broken glass):

Another crack in somersetMore somerset cracks and uneven edges

3. The green glass tile was broken in the corner. Again he assured me I would not notice the broken glass once it finished with silicone caulk – this was the finished product once I asked him to neaten up the caulk – I ask you would this be acceptable if this were your bathroom?

Bad grouting to cover up broken glass in corner
4. He missed grouting in multiple spaces – I had to call him back at least 3 times to grout spots he missed over and over again…..at least 10 of the bull nose at the top border of the tile were only partially grouted as were many spots underneath of the shelves in the corner of the shower stall. I got so tired of calling him back I actually put sticky notes everywhere he missed as shown in the pictures below:

Missed grout top of tiles Missed grout under shelves - 3rd trip

When he came back to grout the spots he missed he tried to short cut by using silicone caulk instead of grout. (By this time I knew to watch him like a hawk) When I saw the transitions didn’t match in either color or texture and called him on it  – he was literally “caught in the act” and forced to use the grout as he should have in the first place. Just another incident of him “cutting corners” rather than doing it right the first time!!
5. He installed the shelves in the corner with silicone caulk, taped them to the tile and let them sit for a day. When he came back to remove the tape the following day he was “shocked” they had not held. He came to me and explained he would have to reattach them as he first used silicone that was outdated blaming Home Depot for the problem by selling him outdated tubes of silicone.
However, I firmly believe it’s the responsibility of a contractor to insure the materials he uses are compatible with the application and most certainly within date specification of the product prior to application. He has no business blaming Home Depot for his obvious oversight.
Also, I was told by another tile contractor that the shelves should have been cut into the tile not “glued” onto the surface in the first place and we will probably have an issue with them coming loose in the near future.
6. Most of the somerset border above or below the glass accent strip DO NOT butt up smoothly to each other. Before he grouted the tile I asked about this as I wanted him to know it was unacceptable and was told I would not notice this once the tile was grouted. Yet again, not so as noted in the pictures below and this is the case in multiple somerset strips:

More uneven somerset joints and cracksEdges in somerset that don't butt up to each other

7. The bull nose coming out to the wall is ¼” short as shown in the picture below. When I questioned him, his response was “This is the way I like to do the tiles that border the walls.” As you can see by the picture below, it’s just another indicator of not calculating his tile usage correctly and being too lazy to do the job right the first time.

one half inch left between edge of tile and edge of wall

8. He grouted around the fixtures in the tub and now they are cracking and dropping off into the shower. He should have used silicone rather than grout. I could not get him to honor his guarantee so I will now have to pay to have someone come in and remove what little grout is left and then silicone caulk the fixtures as they should have been in the first place to insure I don’t experience water leakage.

Faucet grout

9. He left grout, caulk, and grout dust all over the tub, walls and floor from the bathroom all through the hall to the outside of the house. There was so much gook on the tile we were unable to get a suction cup to it adhere to it!
10. The depth of tiles are spaced unevenly throughout the bathroom as noted in the picture below – there should be a solid surface when you run your hand over the tile and there is NOT:

Uneven spacing and depth of tiles in bathroom

11. The spacing between the tiles is not consistent throughout the bathroom as noted in the picture below (sorry it’s a little blurry, but look at top tile to bottom tile and the difference in grout width):

Eneven grout spacing in bathroom

Issues with the Kitchen:

1. He miscalculated the total square feet of tile needed to complete the kitchen a total of three times necessitating three extra trips to the tile store and a lot more money than initially planned.
2. The tiles installed above the stove were uneven and I had to ask for them to be removed and reinstalled.

Kitchen Tile spacing

3. He grouted the splash screen above the stove to the wall.
4. Tiles under the cabinets were installed unevenly, some were as much as ½ inch from the bottom of the cabinets – I was very upset by this and Todd said I shouldn’t be as no one would ever see underneath the cabinets unless they strained their heads underneath to look – I insisted they be taken out and replaced, much to his chagrin.
5. One wall socket was not securely fastened to the electrical outlet – when he announced it was fixed, I tried to plug something into it and it promptly came out of the wall as he neglected to connect the outlet with the screw to the inner wall – so much for attention to detail!!!!
6. He grouted the wall plates to the wall explaining it decreased moisture intrusion. We never heard of or saw anything so strange in our entire lives and since they mixed the grout at the wrong consistency (too dry), not a week passed before the grout cracked and fell on the counter.
7. The grout was applied considerably heavier in the corners of the kitchen and we had to dig it out causing an awful mess.
8. Grout and grout powder was left all over the cabinets, floors, rugs, and hard wood floor from the kitchen all the way to the front door.
9. He used the worst tumbled tiles in the most conspicuous spots in the kitchen despite the fact that we discussed my aversion to those types of tiles being used when he first started the kitchen project. When I asked him to come back and replace those unacceptable tiles he refused to do it free of charge as I had posted a VERY negative review of his work on servicemagic.com.   Instead, he blackmailed me into taking down my disparaging comments from Service Magic site before he would come to replace them.


He couldn’t even accomplish the second repairs with care. Instead of taking out his water saw, he manually cut the two tiles on the end of the wall with what appeared to be a serrated saw – the result was an uneven shaky cut – he could not understand my displeasure with this when I asked him to replace the tiles as shown below:

Kitchen tiles cut evenly

10. Take a quick look at the space under the shelf and then compare it to the picture below – see a big difference in the spacing? Again, Todd was chagrined at my displeasure about the difference and didn’t quite know how that happened….

Kitchen Tile spacing

11. After he replaced the “bad” tumbled tiles in the kitchen, we waited several days for them to “cure” before we replaced the face plates. When we did, we realized he cut one tile too short and the face plate would not fit over the short cut.
When I asked him to buy and install an oversize plate he was dumbfounded as to why I would ask him to run such an errand as he never provided me face plates before so why should he now? I had to show him before and after pictures to make him understand his responsibility as shown below – still it took him three weeks to accommodate the request:

Switchplate due to short cut

12. Lastly, the grout at the counter edge all over the kitchen has just begun to crack in the beginning of March 2012 – after 9 months – I have a 12 month guarantee. When I emailed Todd the pictures and asked him to come and fix this problem he told me to re-grout the counter myself!!! How is that for customer service?
Actually here is a complete transcript of the email exchange between Todd and myself – he has yet to answer my last request below – nor do I really expect to hear from him as ignoring me has become his “MO.”

On Mar 14, 2012, at 13:24, “Bernie Warren” wrote:
Todd,
It seems all the grout against the existing countertop in the kitchen is cracking and falling off the wall….what can you do to fix this? And when…..I need you ASAP please! Same problem in the bathroom…

Cracking Kitchen Grout

Ms. Bernie Warren

 ****************************************

From: Todd Sauter [mailto:tsauter8100@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:26 PM
To: Bernie Warren
Subject: Re: Need some help please….
Sorry, i am in Atlanta

Sent from my iPhone

****************************************

From: Bernie Warren [mailto:bwarren1@cinci.rr.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:10 PM
To: ‘Todd Sauter’
Subject: RE: Need some help please….
Importance: High

When do you return and when can you then come by?
B/
Ms. Bernie Warren

****************************************

On Mar 15, 2012, at 12:52, “Bernie Warren” wrote:
Todd????
Being in Atlanta should not preclude you giving me an answer…..
Ms. Bernie Warren

****************************************

On Mar 15, 2012, at 12:55 PM, Todd Sauter wrote:
You will need to caulk that edge

Sent from my iPhone

****************************************

On Mar 15, 2012, at 13:24, Bernie Warren wrote:
When will you be back in Ohio so YOU can re caulk the edge – you guaranteed your work and the work is faulty and needs YOUR attention, not MINE.
Please respond.

Sent from my iPhone
Ms. Bernie Warren

****************************************

From: Todd Sauter [mailto:tsauter8100@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 2:50 PM
To: Bernie Warren
Subject: Re: Need some help please….
The work is not faulty you have movement between your countertop and the tile that is causing that, i will be back in cincy august 3, the work does not have a lifetime guarantee sorry

Sent from my iPhone

****************************************

From: Bernie Warren [mailto:bwarren1@cinci.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:11 PM
To: ‘Todd Sauter’
Subject: RE: Need some help please….
Importance: High
What about the issues in the bathroom you can’t possibly say the root cause is movement in the bathroom as well?
Regardless, your work IS guaranteed for one year and my check is dated June 2, 2011. Since you are out of the state at the time this problem has been noticed (well within the one year guarantee period), you DO have an obligation to correct it. It’s not my concern that you aren’t in Ohio now.
Please contact me for an appointment to correct this problem as soon as your return on August 3rd.
Thank you for understanding and cooperation.
B/
Ms. Bernie Warren

****************************************

From: Bernie Warren [mailto:bwarren1@cinci.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:25 PM
To: ‘Todd Sauter’
Subject: RE: I need to hear back from you please……
Importance: High
Todd – I do expect an answer to my question regarding the bathroom problem and a confirmation that you will call me upon your return in August…..I don’t want to have to chase you around; after all you are a professional and should stand behind your work as a professional.
B/
Ms. Bernie Warren

****************************************

I believe you can visualize my disappointment in Todd Sauter and Sauter Custom Tile by the many photographs of both my bathroom and kitchen projects and why I close my eyes and/or cry each time I shower. This is certainly not my imagination or a misunderstanding on my behalf. I let him know the unacceptable issues as they appeared and asked him to correct them. During each step of the project he assured me they would be non-issues and would not be noticed upon completion. As you can see by the pictures, I was consistently told whatever Todd felt I needed to hear just to keep me quiet until he could get his check.
I see by the service magic site and his other positive reviews that he has completed projects to others satisfaction. Certainly NOT mine.
Take your chances with whether he’ll treat your project the way he treated mine or hope that your project will go the way it should – based on this review I highly recommend selecting another contractor.

 

In fact I have a recommendation, Greg Neuman of ReNeu Contracting in Batavia – 513-520-0705 – does great work, good prices and is reliable.  Knows what is he doing and NEVER tells you otherwise.  Give him a call for a bid you won’t be disappointed and please tell him you heard of him from his friend Bernie.  Best of luck on your project!

Sociology Assignment – Breakfast At McDonald’s

December 12, 2011

The spirit of Christmas is not just meant to fill our hearts for the month of December – it’s meant to be with us throughout the year as this story so eloquently demonstrates. We all need to smile at those we meet all year long. Imagine the peace and goodwill each of us could pass along to our fellow man!

Bernie

Breakfast at McDonald’s

This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end!
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.

The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, ‘Smile.’

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning.

It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then Even my husband did.

I did not move an inch…. An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible ‘dirty body’ smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was ‘smiling’

His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance..

He said, ‘Good day’ as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, ‘Coffee is all Miss’ because that was all they could afford… (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it – the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, ‘Thank you.’

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, ‘I did not do this for you…. God is here working through me to give you hope.’

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son… When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, ‘That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope…’

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers…

That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in ‘my project’ and the instructor read it.

Then she looked up at me and said, ‘Can I share this?’

I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class…

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:

UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to

LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS –

NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

There is an Angel sent to watch over you.

In order for her to work, you must pass this on to the people you want watched over.

An Angel wrote:

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart

To handle yourself, use your head…

To handle others, use your heart.

God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

Send it back, you’ll see why!

A box of gold

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

with a secret inside

that has never been told

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

this box is priceless

but as I see

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The treasure inside is

precious to me

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Today I share this

treasure with thee

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

It’s the treasure of
friendship you’ve

given me… share it with others!!!

 

Remember Me by Lizzie Palmer

June 25, 2011

This is a poignent and heartfelt video put together by a very mature 15 year old Lizze Palmer called Remember Me.

It will tug at your heart strings and put a tear in your eye; most importantly it will help you remember that our soldiers serve us and how thankful we should be that they are there for us and how we should be there for them!
If there is a soldier in your life please remember and think of them….

A Court-case update!

June 26, 2010
We won our court case and the lien on the house will be dismissed! I can’t tell you what a load off my mind that is….they won’t be able to take our house, all of our money or come back and sue again! Oh yeah what a great beginning to a wonderul weekend! Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers – they worked!!! <B>
Here’s what the Judge said:
“While the court is concerned over the amount of time that has expired since the events that prompted this litigation, it cannot permit a default judgment to persist in light of such obvious defects.  The defects arise not from the acts of the Plaintiff’s counsel, but rather from the miscommunications in the defendant never knowing until recently that he had been sued for dog bite injuries he did not own, nor one he did not have reason to know was at his property.

Consequently, viewing this motion with the liberality by our Rules and striving to reach a just result, the default judgment should be vacated.”

My justice scale

It’s actually the first time in my life that I’ve seen the scale of  justice tip in my direction!

Tribute to Michael Jackson

June 25, 2010

What an EXCELLENT way to remember this phenomenal performer’s exquisite talent by having him celebrate another fantastic performer’s exquisite talent…Sammy Davis’ 60th Birthday Celebration..I’d like to thank my friend Vincent Wright for sharing it with me…..it brought a tear to my eye it was so poignant!

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

June 20, 2010

Inspiration at its finest – “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” – The story of Vic Vujicic you can’t miss!

Inspiration at its finest – “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” – A must see – he makes you think twice about saying “I can’t do it!

A True Duck Story

June 19, 2010

A True Duck Story from San Antonio , Texas

Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn’t stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.

As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump.. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill.

Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River , site of the famed “River Walk.” The on looking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother’s approval, and loaded them in the container.. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water’s edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.

All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.

At last, all present and accounted for: “We’re all together again. We’re here! We’re here!”

And here’s a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures.. .

Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands. I think it gives the name of San Antonio ‘s famous “River Walk” a whole new meaning! Maybe you will want to share this story with others.

Court Delayed……

June 13, 2010

As if it weren’t enough we have to go through this entire court ordeal in the first place, now it has been delayed!  Our lawyer went to our hearing on Friday, June 12th to offer “oral arguments” and for whatever reason, the motion was transferred to another judge.

Court rules indicate that the motion to vacate should go before the same judge that granted the objectionable order.  However, it was transferred to another Judge and this Judge’s court attendant explained that once he got the motion, he placed it on the June 25, 2010 motion list for whatever reason.

Now we have to live an additional two weeks with knotted stomachs and angst in our hearts not knowing the outcome of this horrid mess.

They say God never gives us more than we can handle and I KNOW that I’m a strong woman, but sheesh, I’m starting to wonder how much I’m expected to endure.

This is such a make or break situation.  If they win – they take everything we own now and will own in the future for something we had no knowledge of or control over – how can I ever come to terms with that?

Again, I ask for your thoughts and prayers that justice is served and we prevail.  I thank you in advance for your kinds thoughts and wish you well in return.

Bernie

Why I’ve been MIA…..

May 30, 2010

If you have not heard from or seen me in recent weeks it has been because I’ve been consumed with legal briefs, stomach knots, headaches, worry, and terror that everything I own and all my future plans for retirement will be dashed and blown apart.

Why you ask? Read on……

Back in September of 2009 we decided to sell our rental property in Atlantic City for two reasons:

1. Our tenant was obnoxious, uncooperative, uncommunicative, obstinate, and felt he could get away with anything he wanted because he was in NJ and we lived in Ohio.

2. Atlantic City raised our property value from $45,000 to $183,900. The property is a 1,624 square foot, 80-year old row house in a neighborhood riddled with crime and drug traffic yet was worth $183,900 – unfathomable!

First, we offered it to Mr. Tenant at a reduced rate – he had poor credit and could not get a mortgage.  So, we put it on the market for $126,000 to see if we could get a bite. We notified Mr. Tenant we were doing so and he needed to be available for showings. Of course the tenant cancelled 50% of the showings and made the entire process a nightmare for both our realtor and everyone else involved.

Despite all of his efforts to thwart the sale of our house, marked an “as is” property, we got an offer and made arrangements to close. Mr. Tenant found another place to stay all was well until he moved out.

Then came the real horrors:

1. He left no forwarding address.

2. He stopped payment on the last rent check – $700

3. He did not pay the last sewer/water bill – $800

4. He left tons of garbage both in/outside the house which had to be removed $500

5. He let the roof leak without ever telling us there was a problem ruining a plaster wall as well as damaging ceiling tiles and drywall then severely damaged other walls by pulling items out versus unscrewing them. The bathroom was covered in mold from never being properly cleaned – it was so disgusting neither the realtor nor the painter could believe a person could stand to live like that. $750

6. In order to get a CO we had to have a terminate inspection which determined the house was infested with rodents and bed bugs!  They found rodent droppings in the OVEN – imagine how disgusting these people were to allow things to get so dirty rodents lived in the friggin oven! Not to mention a bed bug infestation – which leave bite marks that cause intense itching – how they could have lived under those circumstances is beyond my imagination!!! $500

7. We had to put a new roof on the house as there were leaks he didn’t tell us about that rotted the rafters $3000

8. Repaint the entire inside of the house $750

Please note these people were always clean and neat up until we decided to sell the house in September of 09.  That’s when everything started to go down hill and they began not to care about the house anymore!

TOTAL: $6800

But the real HORROR show that occurred a mere week before closing was when the title search uncovered a lien on the house for $80,000!!

This stemmed from a 10-year old personal injury law suit (June of 2000) wherein a Rottweiler dog bit a child at our rental property in Atlantic City.  A dog apparently owned by our tenant!   By the way, his lease specifically prohibited pets – NO PETS: clause 14 of his lease!!!!

We were never notified about this – knew nothing of it until the title search. Now we had to hire a lawyer to find about what the heck was going on – another $2,500 dollar retainer (plus court costs of $500) just to figure out what happened, design a defense, and submit an appeal.  Our lawyer expects the plaintiff’s lawyer to fight our objections to the suit!  He contends we hid from being served!

As it turns out back in October of 2000, our tenant called me and told me there was a note on the door to call “some guy.” He wasn’t sure what it was about but it looked like it was an important note and I should call him. Of course, he knew exactly what it was about but sure didn’t want to give me any more information about it. They were trying to “serve” us the law suit at the rental property address but our tenant would not answer the door when he saw it was the sheriff!

I called the gentleman who was very unclear about what he wanted/needed and kept referring to some plaintiff’s names which were completely foreign to me. (It turns out their names are some long Indian or Persian type names that I wouldn’t be able to remember and/or pronounce if my life depended on it.   I just know I had never heard of them in any context before or after that telephone call until a couple of weeks ago.

I explained several times we did not know these people or had ever heard of them and his information must be incorrect as we had no connection to these people whatsoever and couldn’t help find them. He continued to tell me the same thing over and over again over a very bad phone connection as I told him we live in Ohio not Atlantic City so his information had to be wrong. At this point I began to get very leery and didn’t know what to think other than he was trying to get our information for fraudulent purposes when the call dropped. I did give him my work # and was actually relieved that he didn’t call me back which made me further believe it was a suspicious and fraudulent call. So I never gave it another thought until I was given the sheriff’s notes which pretty much mirrored what I said above except he said I hung up on him!

This is what they based and won the default law suit on – that one conversation is how they considered us being served and a judge concluded we were trying to hide our whereabouts because I wouldn’t give them our Ohio information in that phone call!

Had I even had an inkling that I was truly speaking to a sheriff or that he was telling me we were being sued, words he NEVER used, would anyone in their right minds deny giving him any information or not called him back when the call dropped? Of course not! I would have tried to truly understand the issue and would have immediately had the defendant corrected to my tenant as it was his issue totally, not ours!

Any reasonable person would know that you can’t run from the law – except maybe my absolutely clueless and mean-spirited tenant.

So that’s what has been happening in my life. If we can’t get this suit rescinded we won’t be able to make any money on the sale of the house. In fact, I will have to lose the almost $10,000 from our savings that we’ve already spent to fix everything as well as pay the legal fees we’ve incurred to fight this mess.

In addition to all that, the NJ court can seek further relief from the Ohio courts to attach our assets here as well! As a result, we won’t be able to retire – ever!  I am so sick and fraught with worry over this I can’t tell you.  I can’t eat, sleep, or think of anything else.  Papers have been issued to the court asking for relief as we were never properly served.  But after 10 years its a pig in a poke how the court will respond.

If you pray, please pray for us.

Pray there is justice for those who have been wrongly accused and convicted without so much as knowing there was an issue! We were never given the chance to let the court or the people who were injured know that this was not our issue or our fault.