Friday, July 1, 2011

Lawrence House Court Report

Lawrence House appeared in Housing Court on Thursday, June 30th. This is the report from a resident who was in the courtroom for it:
  • "Just got back from the Lawrence House court date at the Daley Center. Judge Lauretta Higgins-Watson presided. Among the people present were Louis Menetti [an owner] and firefighter Robert Stephans. It was not as heated as the last court date, although the man ejected from the courtroom the last time did show up, and it is apparent he is now friends with the Menettis.
  • A third party filed a petition for intervention on behalf of the tenants association.
  • The city filed a petition for general receivership; the Menettis have 14-28 days to respond.
  • The "indirect civil contempt" charge that was found during the last court date was purged.
  • The violation "item 77" regarding the garbage chute doors was found to be in compliance. However, they did some work on this and other things without a proper permit, although some of it was on an emergency basis and thus forgiven.
  • The big issue in this court date was "violation 74" regarding rooms occupied by "hoarders," a clear fire hazard due to the clutter in the rooms. One room in particular has a tenant that will not cooperate. The room has severe water damage, mold, etc. and her social service agency is trying to get her to move but she doesn't want to.
  • There are also ongoing issues with rats, bugs and poor ventilation. 
  • The severe water damage on the first floor was not addressed, but they said they will have a more comprehensive list of violations ready for the next court date.
  • Next court date is August 11th."
And this is what Ald. Cap's latest newsletter said about the court date:
"In court yesterday morning, the City filed a third amended complaint bringing the total number of violations in the complaint against the current owner of the Lawrence House to 110. The City also filed a petition to appoint a general receiver, which would take the ownership away from the current owner and place The Lawrence House with an owner designated by the city.

Prior to the court date, a stop work order was issued due to work occurring without proper plans and permits. Some permits have been issued (one for the masonry and one for electrical work), but most of the work they need complete due to the numerous violations are not covered by the permits they have so far. The case was continued until August 11th. Tenants of the building were in court as were representatives from ONE and the Uptown Chicago Commission. The Shriver Center entered a motion to intervene in the case on behalf of the tenants, although the owner's attorney objected to the motion. If the motion is allowed, this will give the tenants more power and representation during the proceedings. I will continue to monitor the progress of this case."


  1. I did a guest spot check yesterday since I had to deposit a check at chase, I decided to check out the winthrop and lawrence branch, and everything was okay for the most part.

    I did pick up about a small box worth of trash around which is alot better than it used to be on that stretch of Winthrop just south of Lawrence.

    Looking good around there.

    NOW we just need the L HOUSE
    to get a decent owner and restore it to its former glory

  2. It looks like all activism against Lawrence House has disappeared from the O.N.E. website, so I guess evil has won?