After nearly a year, or two years depending on how you look at it, justice was finally served today.
Some of you know of the issue but for those who do not, here is a short explanation of a very long story. We have a house in the wine valley that had some work being done. Our contractor doing the work started getting a little shady, started living in our house and eventually became hostile about the situation.
We served him, twice, eviction notices with multiple verbal instructions to leave the house. Today we had our day in court and the judge ruled in our favor and we now have legal possession of our property again.
So that’s what I’ve been tweeting about a squatter and then going to the Sheriff’s Department or the courthouse. I didn’t mean to be ambiguous but for certain reasons I couldn’t elaborate on the situation.
For the longer story (including murder), follow on.
When I first moved to California several years ago I moved into our family cabin in the wine valley. We built the house in the early 1950s as a summer cabin, a retreat from the cold in San Francisco.
Located amongst some of the best wineries in California, just a 15 minute walk from the river and a five minute stroll downhill to a quaint local market, this cabin was our home every summer.
It wasn’t anything super special, small, two bedroom, 1.5 bath on a hill, huge back porch, tennis court and hot tub. When I moved back to the house, after years of it being vacant, we discovered it needed a bit of work.
A bit of work = a lot of work (in this case)
So we hired a handyman to do some work here, some there, he was shady, we fired him. Blah blah, a few others, and then this last dude. He was recommended by a family friend.
He did some work, blah blah, time passes. Turns out he has been squatting in our house since at least January 2010. Also, he might have been squatting there since he started work on the house a few years ago, and destroying the house and everything else inside.
The guy is a total creep. Has a handful of restraining orders against him, was once on trial for murder (received verdict of “self defense), has no teeth (not a judge on character but for-what-it’s-worth), has installed listening devices and wireless cameras in our house and has just generally turned out to be a freak show. Did I mention he started renting out one of the bedrooms to help pay his bills?
So, we followed the law, gave him 30 days notice to release control of the property (he didn’t). Then we gave a 60 days notice of eviction, he did not accept the terms and refused to release possession of our house back to us. So, back to our awesome lawyer, perhaps more on her later, and a court hearing was setup.
Today was our day in court, a year later and we won. He is to leave the property within five days of the latest eviction notice and then we can once again, take possession of a house we have owned for some 60 years.
Eventually I hope to get the house back into the condition it was when I moved back to Missouri, when all it needed was a few touchups. I want to invite my friends for weekends in the wine valley, float trips down the river and bicycle rides through the redwoods. If we can rent it out to someone for longterm or short term periods, even better.
I’ll be driving up to the wine valley more often to check on the house, maybe do some of the finishing work myself and steal away some time to enjoy the valley and my friends here.