Hoarding is a serious condition that affects millions of families in America. The effects of extreme hoarding can be heartbreaking and devastating. In these extreme situations, the courts may get involved.
Hoarders may be a popular reality TV show that features a few dozen people with compulsive hoarding disorders every season, but the truth is that millions of Americans suffer from compulsive hoarding.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding is a disorder in which someone has extreme difficulty discarding items that others may sometimes view as valueless. This disorder leads to extreme clutter and disrupts their ability to function in their living and workspace. Hoarding is not simply being messy or collecting something. Hoarding is an extreme accumulation of a variety of materials.
For years, California Cities and Counties have faced a conundrum when attempting to have a Receiver appointed for substandard properties. Previously, the California Health and Safety Code § 17980.7(c) required an enforcement agency to provide a “3 Day Notice” notifying a Property Owner that the agency intended to petition the Court to have a Receiver appointed. Then when filing the petition with the Court, proof that the “3 Day Notice” had been served must be included with the petition.
At the time of writing this post, the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States is rising. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a pandemic. The Governor of California issued a “Stay-at-Home” Order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by limiting non-essential activity. The courts in California are generally closed to the public. Being engulfed in the receivership industry, we have extensive experience with unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. Griswold Law often deals with properties that pose significant health and safety risks to communities across California. However, the COVID-19 outbreak is the first public health emergency that caused California to quarantine itself. Griswold Law is adapting as quickly as possible to these changing circumstances.
A Health and Safety Receivership is an effective legal remedy under California law that facilitates the reestablishment of substandard properties, which include properties that show problems of hoarding, drug/slum activity, fire or water damage, unpermitted construction or habitation, or properties that have been abandoned. There are many substandard properties across California that are clearly neglected and/or vacant with no useful purpose. These properties are an eyesore to the public and can be a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding community. Health and Safety Receiverships can reduce the number of substandard properties and demonstrates to the community that the city or county is taking steps to rehabilitate problem properties.