Department of Health sues homeowners over cluttered exterior and open sewage –

The owners of 3966 E. 300N, Warsaw, are being sued by the Kosciusko County Health Department for breaching orders. InkFreeNews photo by Liz Shepherd.

By Liz Berger

WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Health Department has filed a complaint against two landlords over unsanitary conditions.

The property, located at 3966 E. 300N, Warsaw, is owned by Sharon E. Zellers and Martha E. Mayer, both of Warsaw. According to court documents, the health department filed a lawsuit against Zellers and Mayer on May 26 in Kosciusko Fourth Superior Court for failure to comply with health department orders.

In the lawsuit, the county health department is represented by Adam D. Turner. Zellers, Mayer and the unknown occupants of the home are all listed as defendants. No legal representation of the defendants is listed in court documents.

On April 28, 2021, KCHD issued two orders against the owners and residents of the property.

The first order called for garbage removal and an illegal burn/dump pit from the property.

Zellers and Mayer were ordered to remove the trash and fire pit no later than May 31, 2021. Pursuant to Kosciusko County Order #8-11-10-001, a fine of up to $100 is provided for the first offense and a fine of up to $200 for each subsequent offense.

The second order asked property owners to cease and desist from unsanitary sewage disposal on property.

“(There is) open sewage found on the ground surface within 20 feet of the wellhead,” reads the April 2021 cease and desist order. (There is) an unloaded washing machine on the ground surface at the east end of a garage used as a living space. (There is) a shower dump from the same garage used as living space.

Additionally, in the ordinance, homeowners were instructed to cease all surface sewage discharges, acquire the services of a septic tank pumper to regularly pump the septic tank, and replace the sewage system. faulty on-site waste water disposal.

The owners of the property have been ordered to complete these tasks no later than May 31, 2021. Pursuant to Kosciusko County Order No. 16-1-3-13, a fine of up to $100 $ is provided for the first offense and a fine of up to $1,000. for each subsequent violation.

In a KCHD reduction order, the house was declared unfit for human habitation due to “lack of repair, faulty plumbing, electrical system with exposed wiring, failing on-site sewage disposal system, trash, rubbish, filth, wood installed and maintained illegally – combustion device in and around a garage converted into a second home, which not only renders said dwelling uninhabitable but also presents a significant health risk for neighboring dwellings.

By this same ordinance, the house was declared a public nuisance.

In this case, KCHD is seeking a court order requiring compliance with county orders. They also seek the listing of a fine against the defendants, as well as coverage of “reasonable attorneys’ fees, court costs and other just and appropriate relief”.

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