Couple wants Beaumont to give more time before demolition

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 30, 2010

A Beaumont woman wants the court to allow her family extra time to complete $35,000 worth of work they started on a house originally scheduled for demolition.

Tammy Ermis filed a lawsuit April 23 in Jefferson County District Court against the city of Beaumont.

Ermis claims she and her husband bought property at 2002 Park St. in Beaumont on April 2, 2008, which they intended to improve.

According to the complaint, Beaumont had issued a demolition order for the house on Jan. 17, 2007, but Ermis' husband filed for a temporary restraining order so he could make improvements to the property under a work program coordinated with the city.

Meanwhile, Ermis' husband reviewed the court documents ordering the demolition, found they were illegal, but decided not to file a legal action against Beaumont because of its willingness to work with him, the suit states.

Under the work program agreement, Ermis' husband agreed to complete work on the Park Street property in two phases, the complaint says. Ermis claims the first phase was completed and approved by the city, but the second phase is not quite finished.

"Phase II has been substantially completed; however due to the interruptions caused by Hurricane Ike and personal financial challenges Phase II could not be completed in 150 days as agreed," the suit states.

On April 15, the city of Beaumont informed Ermis' husband that their property was scheduled to be demolished, according to the complaint.

"If the city's order to demolish is executed Plaintiff stands to lose her personal financial and work investment in the subject property," the complaint says. "At this time approximately 9,500 man hours have been devoted to the restoration of this property. At this time approximately $35,000 have been spent on the restoration of this property with a resulting improvement in value of approximately $150,000."

Ermis wants the court to issue a writ of ceritorari to review the legality of the original Jan. 17, 2007, order for demolition and wants the court to immediately restrain the city from executing its most recent demolition order.

Marybeth M. Nelson of Houston will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A186-662.

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