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Eugene seeks to have nuisance home vacated

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013
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Putnam said she has spoken to Orrell and he is aware of the situation and its consequences. She said several people besides Orrell also seem to be living at the residence.

According to Eugene police records, officers have been called to or visited the address 93 times since January 2009. During those visits police generated 28 case reports, most of them arrests of people wanted on outstanding warrants.

One person who lives on the street but asked not to be identified because of concern over possible retaliation said people are in and out of the house at all hours. The person said many other houses on the street have been broken into and that neighbors are worried that criminal activity could spread. "People just aren't comfortable," he said.

Putnam said most nuisance cases never get this far. The city on average sends out fewer than 10 letters a year advising property owners that the city will seek closure if the owner doesn't halt ongoing crime at a particular address.

Most often the location is a rental, and Putnam said nine times out of 10 the owner contacts police immediately. The owner usually is unaware of the situation and typically fixes it by evicting the problem tenant, Putnam said.

Occasionally, police see a situation where a parent living out of state has bought a house for an adult child to use while in college or looking for a job, and the house has become a magnet for drug users. In one current case, a mother is opting to evict her son from a house to avoid having it declared a nuisance, she said.

It's rare to get this far in the process with an owner-occupied house, Putnam said, but sometimes it's necessary to protect law-abiding neighbors.

"Sometimes we're left with no other choice, for the good of the neighborhood more than anything," she said. "These are good, hard-working people who have children, and they don't want to live next door to a house were heroin addicts and meth users are in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night."

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com