Beaumont woman wants to buy out co-owners of damaged house

Kelly Holleran Jun. 9, 2010, 5:27am

A Beaumont woman has filed suit against the other two women she owns a home with, and wants the court to intervene so the hurricane-damaged house can be sold to the city.

Timmie Lee Bell claims she owns a home at 3150 Taliaferro in Beaumont along with defendants Priscilla Robinson and Viola Lane.

Since 1990, Bell has been the only one of the three to live in the home, but she had to leave after Hurricane Ike struck and rendered the home uninhabitable, according to the complaint filed May 25 in Jefferson County District Court.

Following the hurricane, the city of Beaumont offered to purchase the property and to allow its primary holder -- Bell, who owns a 66 percent share -- to relocate and rebuild, the suit states. However, Bell has been unable to accept Beaumont's offer because Robinson and Lane refuse to deed the property to her, the complaint says.

Bell claims the home is worth $4,620 because of damage it sustained during the past two years.

Based on the home's value and the taxes Bell has paid since 1994, she wants to give Robinson and Lane each $633 in return for the deed to the home.

Bell calculated the amount by taking each person's ownership interest in the house, then subtracting the amount of taxes each person should have paid, according to the complaint. For example, Robinson owns a 16 percent interest in the house, making her share in the home worth $770.

But since 1994, Robinson has failed to pay her share of taxes, which would amount to $137, the suit states. By subtracting $137 from $770, Bell calculated Robinson's interest in the home to be worth $633, the complaint says.

In addition to the sale of the home and the deeds in return, Bell seeks other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Jonathan L. Stovall of Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B186-942.

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