Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Judge orders woman evicted from expired lease back in Beverly Shores

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A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Marshal to evict the occupant of a so-called “lease-back” in Beverly Shores in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, nearly two years after the reservation of use (ROU) expired.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Joe Van Bokkelen ordered Deborah Pavel removed from the property at 260 S. Prospect and the U.S. Marshal to put the National Park Service (NPS) in possession of that property.

Van Bokkelen further ordered NPS and its moving contractor to accompany the U.S. Marshal “for the removing of any personal property in or on the premises” and authorized the disposal of any such personal property if not claimed within 30 days.

In fact, Van Bokkelen ordered Pavel on Jan. 13 to “peacefully surrender possession of the real estate” and to “remove herself and possessions therefrom at her cost and expense” and warned her too that “disobedience to the form or ignoring of the substance of this order may be punished as contempt.”

But Pavel did ignore the order as well as a letter dated March 6, in which “the government again requested (Pavel) to vacate the premises” and gave her until April 7 to do so, NPS stated in a petition for writ of assistance filed on April 13. “The defendant continues to occupy the premises despite this court’s order and the government’s efforts to give her reasonable time to vacate,” NPS stated in that petition.

NPS originally filed suit against Pavel in April 2010, after she failed to vacate the home at 260 S. Prospect, conveyed to the government in June 1980.

The timeline, according to court documents:

•The reservation of use was initially scheduled to expire on June 20, 2009. In a letter dated Jan. 6, 2009, NPS informed Pavel that her reserved interest would expire on that day.

•On May 26, 2009, NPS gave Pavel an extension of 60 days, to Aug. 20, 2009, and advised her that “No other extensions will be granted.”

•On Aug. 7, 2009, NPS reminded Pavel by letter of the expiration of that extension.

•On Aug. 21, 2009—the day after the extension expired—NPS advised Pavel, still in residence at 260 S. Prospect, that she was now “illegally trespassing on National Park Service federal property” and that she “must take immediate steps to relocate, including removing all personal property” from the home.

Pavel did not and NPS subsequently filed suit.

At one time there were more than 350 reservations of use—known more commonly by the misnomer “lease-back”—in effect in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in which the former owners of homes purchased by the government retained the right to live in them for a specified length of time after selling the property at a reduced amount, usually 1 percent for each year of retained use.

On Sept. 30, 2010, 26 reservations of use—nearly every remaining one—expired. Twelve of those were occupied by the original sellers; 14 by persons who purchased the years remaining on the reservation of use from the original sellers.


Posted 4/21/2011




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