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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98178 Find in a Library
Title: Application of Nuisance Law to Abandoned Buildings and Other Major Fire Hazards (From Neighborhood Based Arson Control - Collected Papers, P 53-76, 1985 - See NCJ-98175)
Author(s): A Delibert
Corporate Author: Citizens Cmtte for Fire Prevention
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Citizens Cmtte for Fire Prevention
Washington, DC 20036
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Nuisance law offers a wide range of civil remedies against owners of abandoned and poorly maintained buildings in urban areas; these buildings are substantial risk for major fires.
Abstract: A private plaintiff may obtain a court order directing the owner to correct the nuisance and may also sue for compensatory and punitive damages. The public prosecutor may also seek a corrective order and prosecute the owner for the crime of public nuisance. In many jurisdictions, municipal authorities can seal up or demolish the nuisance building at the owner's expense. In States that recognize the nonmutual use of collateral estoppel, such as New York, public and private plaintiffs can cooperate to exert powerful leverage over the building owners. In these States, when an owner is faced simultaneously with a public action for injunction and a private action for monetary damages, he/she is likely to settle the injunctive action quickly. A trial on that case risks adverse findings of fact that could weaken the owner's defense to the private action, where large amounts of money are at stake. Also, the courts may allow community groups standing to sue on behalf of their members in some nuisance cases. The issue of representational standing is addressed case by case. The New York courts and some others have already permitted community group standing in zoning cases, which are analogous to nuisance cases in their dealing with the communitywide impact of land-use decisions. Sixty-eight footnotes are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Arson; Civil liability; Civil remedies; Landlord liability; New York; Public nuisance
Note: For microfiche, see NCJ-098175.
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