• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

City Codes

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Donna Pryor-Mengel

I live in Missouri. Trying to be brief, We bought a house in Kansas City, Mo that was run down, had ALOT of trash and debris, intending to fix it up, and rent it out. Almost from the moment we bought the house, the city has harrassed us, and fined us, even though we have done immense clean up on this property. Now my husband has been threatened with jail this next court date. The more we try to comply, the more we are punished. When does this become harrassment and what can be done?

Donna Pryor-Mengel




i would approach a local newspaper investigator and or a local investigating tv reporter. If you have the before and after pictures, quotes from your neighbors, and documentation from the city to make it all jibe, you can stop the madness cold...... in its tracks

Donna Pryor-Mengel

This is the story.......

About a year ago, my husband bought a home at 5179 Hardesty. This porperty was in terrible shape at the time, having had no upkeep for about 15 years or so. There was ALOT of trash and debris, and the house itself needed work, but he felt that since he was single at the time, that it would be a good project, and eventually a nice home.
About a month or so after he signed the papers, he began receiving tickets on the property from the city. He tried to work with the inspectors, and was working diligently on the property to get it cleaned up, but he was fined anyway twice. By this time, he was living in Kansas with me and had his daughter staying there so that the house would not be vandalized as so many vacant houses are.
His daughter let a man move in with her who, unbeknownst to us, was a person who attempted to make drugs while he was staying there. We were mortified, but even more so to find out later that he was also wanted on previous federal charges for making drugs. The house was raided by drug enforcement agents, and everyone had been told to vacate. Let me add here that no arrests were made and no law enforcement agency contacted us at all to let us know that this had happend, until about a week or so later. Needless to say, alot of things were stolen by opportunistic thieves cashing in on a property they knew no one would be occupying.
As I mentioned earlier, the city inspector had sent my husband tickets for code violations on the property, and my husband spent all his free time and money trying to do as they asked. It was all in vain, as he had to pay approximately $400 in fines. He was going to hire a lawyer and litigate the tickets, but the city sent a letter to his employer stating that they would cancel his security commission if he didnt pay it, which means would automatically lose his job. We could not afford to do both, so the fines were forced to be paid. To allow someone no recourse in the court system by threatening their job is certainly not ethical but that is what they did.
After the house was raided, according to the drug enforcement task force, it now was under a new jurisdiction. We went to their office downtown, and the woman there told us that he would now have 6 months to clear off all the violations and get the property up to code. The inspector for the drug task force, Jim Ready, told him this also over the phone. That was late February or early march.
About 3 weeks later, the city sent 6 more tickets on code violations. My husband worked really hard and spent almost $600 to try to comply, however it has been so wet and rainy that he wasnt able to get everything accomplished.
The judge did not treat it as a new case like it was supposed to be, or apply the new rules to it, but told my husband that he must get an attorney, and will go to jail if he loses at the next court date, which is in 2 weeks. When asked about the six month deadline, Mr. Ready told my husband that he was being "pushed to get this case cleared off the books" What does that mean? Did someone change the rules on us? Mr Ready was there in court this last time to make certain that this property was treated as a drug task force case, but was not asked by the judge to speak, and therefore under the rules of his department, could not. My husband is not a criminal, but certainly is being treated like one. Since when are we not allowed to speak or give simple testimony in court without the expense of an attorney?
It's also rather strange but no one else on that block has been ticketed during this ordeal, just my husband (We asked around to find out).....and his property is the best looking one there. Tall weeds, old cars, trash, piles of debris, and run down homes and buildings seem to abound in this area. His property is mowed, and neat looking from the street. It seems to me that he has been targeted for some reason. Maybe you or someone from the news media can get an answer as to why.
We have heard stories about other people who the city has harrassed also. Some I realize are people who just dont want to clean up. But I know there are other people, who are like my husband, who have tried to do their best, and are penalized time after time with no credit given to their efforts. His daughter's involvement with the drug world hasnt helped this situation, but my husband has had problems with the codes inforcement department almost since he bought the house.
Isnt it time that the city be forced to treat its citizens with some dignity and respect? If the city of Kansas City wants us to try and make the city better, does it make sense that they should punish us for trying to fix up a run down property? They should be all for us! Instead they fine us and take away the money we have to make repairs, then punish us again for not having the work done. We have demonstrated that we have done alot of work to this property, and we have witnesses to that effect. To this date, the judge who hears these cases has never allowed one bit of proof or testimony. Whether he will even when are represented with an attorney remains to be seen. What do YOU think?

Update: We went to see a lawyer this morning. This lawyer was what I call a "Matlock" attorney....he wants $1000 just to show up in court once. We dont have this money. We need an REASONABLY priced attorney......

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential