Squatters in Paradise… Dogs on the Loose – What is the Solution?

Mahalo to Pahoa Community Police Officer Pacheco for helping to secure this building that has been an ongoing problem with squatters, homelessness and drugs here in Pahoa for the last few years.

BEFORE:

Photo by Sean King

Photo by Sean King

AFTER:

After the police secured the building

After the police secured the building

We have a serious problem here in Puna and that is that folks are just taking over houses that are foreclosed and there is nothing the local police can do.  Here is an example of a recent letter I received with some things cut out to ensure their privacy:

Aloha Neighbors,

I know everyone is quite busy, so I will keep this as concise as I can.

I thought I would keep you abreast of a few issues that have happened in your neighborhood.  BTW, thank you for keeping me in the loop with other concerns happening in our neighborhood, past or present.

#1.  There has been squatters that have moved in the house on Kula Street. Some of you may know this as (edited) old place.

What I can tell you is this:

-They have established electricity

- The police can not do anything since it is a civil matter, not criminal.

-Chase Bank owns the house, and is paying the taxes on it.

- The Leilani Community Association can not do anything to help in this regard per advise of there consult with an attorney.

-The owner is the only one who can order these people to leave.

-Chase bank is not very forthcoming about taking possession of the house since there are at lease $40k in liens against the property. (btw, formally foreclosed in 2009 by the court system).

-There are several people that come and go all hours of the day/night.

-I do not want to pursue calling in a drug suspicion, as I do not want any retribution…

-Charlie Stanton, Leilani resident, has been kind to patrol the streets of Leilani as Neighborhood Watch, and knows of this matter and has even taken photos of a few cars as they have drove by and decided not to stop at the house as he was present.  Thank you Charlie.

Has anyone else been faced with this kind of issue or maybe can shed some light on this matter? Maybe an elected official?

And,

#2.  On Friday, June 7th, (EDIT) roughtweiler attacked my dog in our front yard. I have asked her repeatedly to keep her dog restrained.  I have filed a police report in regard to this issue and my dog will need an expensive surgery to walk normal again.  The police have filed this as a vicious dog claim. The officer who reported to the call is Officer C. Arnold. He said to call the Humane Society every time I see the dog out of the owners yard.  The Humane Society said that every photograph of the violation will result in a fine. As many of you may know, this is not the first time I have had to deal with a vicious dog issue on my property.

Thank you for taking the time to read over the information in this email. If you have insight or know of a good resources to tap for more info to move either of these issues forward, I would be very happy to hear about them.  Also, if you would like to connect this email to others in our neighborhood who may want to know about this matter, please do so.

Stay safe and have a fantastic Friday!

So with that being said… does anyone have any advice?

2 Responses

  1. Being the Charlie Stanton referred to, and the the new coordinator of Leilani Estate’s Neighborhood Watch, it has become readily apparent the Laws on the Books need changing in order to deal with the squatter problem.

    It is not about how well, or not, the individual squatter behaves, it is what happens to the homeowner’s Property VALUE. Add the safety of not only the adjoining property owners, but the squatters as well when non compliant temporary structures are built of moved into. You really think squatters are going to invest money for routine maintenance? Have sanitation? Potable water?

    Hazen is correct at least in the short run, the way a society functions best is self-correction when an error is encountered. That self-correction mostly happens when ‘burned’. Chase et al have to be punished for allowing these squatters.

    One more thing about the complexity of the squatter issue. There are individuals out there in Puna representing themselves as rental agents for these Bank owned properties., These ‘agents’ have not sought legal permission from the owner to advertise.

    If you hear of such cases ask the Police or the Prosecuting Attorney to get involved. Have the ‘burned’ renter seek justice, and retribution, as that is the only way I can see to obtain “justice” and initiate self-corrective action.

    One big gust of wind does little to get a sail boat moving, to MOVE a sail boat takes a steady wind. If you really want to MOVE this issue, contact your Council, your Representative, your Senator and if you live in a subdivision ask your BOD to appoint a committee to track the issue and to lobby.

    And have patience as the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly, but remember they grind exceedingly fine as well.

  2. Find a way to make Chase Bank’s negligence cost them. Somehow expose them to possible lawsuits, let them know that they’re liable. I hate that the $40k in liens means that the property will just sit there and fall into disrepair. I bet if you offered to buy it they wouldn’t even listen.

Feel like saying something about this?