Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Unconscionable: The Injustice Visited Upon Mr. Alvin Lee

Mr. Alvin Lee owned the building at 2201 Banks Street, which housed the bar Platinum 3000.

Today, he stood in front of the ruins of that building.

He told me how the state and LSU filed with the Civil District Court here in New Orleans to expropriate his property.  The petition for expropriation had the limit of 15 days to make an answer crossed off (not initialed) and replaced with 10 days.  Still, Mr. Lee was one of the few residents who did file an answer with the court.  He got an extension of 30 days as a result.

Still, 10 days after the petition was filed, people showed up at the building he owned accompanied by police officers and told him that he no longer owned the property and had to vacate.  Mr. Lee told them that they must be mistaken because he had obtained a 30 day extension from the court.  The person called a supervisor - who confirmed that fact.

Additionally, Mr. Lee is still in the process of attempting to determine an adequate amount for his property - and yet his building was demolished just yesterday.

While he takes it all with a calm demeanor, it really is unbelievable to hear him relate the facts.

As he noted several times, he was one of the few people in the VA Hospital site who even decided to file an answer after receiving a stack of legal papers.

This Thanksgiving, I'll be thinking of how thankful I am that I have not had to endure the sorts of poor treatment that Mr. Lee and others have faced in the VA Hospital Footprint.

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