OTTUMWA — Larry Clabaugh’s attorney is asking the court to reject the city’s proposed judgement, saying it grants unreasonably broad authority for the city to intrude on private property.
The city’s lawsuit has been pending since March 2017. Clabaugh missed the trial in November 2017, but his former attorney was able to get the judgement thrown out based on claims that medical issues prevented Clabaugh from attending.
Since then, the city has grown frustrated over multiple missed depositions. The most recent one, in which Clabaugh again claimed medical problems but failed to present the court with requested documentation, led the court to set a hearing on financial penalties for his absence.
The city’s suit alleges Clabaugh blocked access to property he doesn’t own, built a fence on his neighbor’s property, and repeatedly failed to get permits for projects and for dumping debris on the property.
Steven DeVolder, Clabaugh’s new attorney, argued in a resistance to the proposed judgement amounted to an “open-ended abatement authorization … to encroach on Clabaugh’s property and basically perform any acts the city chooses … with such abatement costs to be assessed against Clabaugh.”
The second trial has been repeatedly delayed, and the state’s online court database did not appear to show a new date as of Thursday.