Salem, OR asked in Municipal Law and Business Law for Oregon

Q: I was cited PERSONALLY for a broken sidewalk at a property that I am developing. I'm just the owning LLC's Manager...

I appeared and said "I am not the owner". The Judge asked for a copy of the LLC that shows in the public record/county tax roles as the "owner of record". I complied with that request at the next hearing date. That LLC document lists a trust that owns the LLC's member interest. I have no part of that trust either. The Judge ordered me to come back with the trust document. I did come back to court but I refused to produce that private document, but I offered to show it in a private meeting to the citing officer if they really wanted to see it to prove true what I said regarding having no ownership interest in the property in any way. I said three times at that hearing that the citation/ticket was clearly defective, yet the Judge set a trial date anyway. The city ordinances and planning code clearly state that the "owner of record" is responsible for the sidewalks. The fine is $1,000. (The sidewalk was replaced before the first hearing) How do I get this dismissed at trial?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
  • Hillsboro, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You would take all the documents to court at the trial and provide them to the judge (they are not going to make copies, so it will not become part of some permanent file). Cite to the language of the code you were cited for and demonstrate you were not the owner. I would also obtain copies of the file from the county recorder's office to demonstrate you were not the owner at the time.

Of course, someone will have to pay the $1,000 at some point, so it will either be you now or the LLC later.

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