Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement

As city attorneys, our firm has extensive experience in code enforcement, both at the district court and superior court levels.  We negotiate resolutions to code enforcement issues with literally dozens of property owners every year.  In unusual cases, where negotiations are unsuccessful, we are well equipped to litigate these issues.  Three representative cases include:

  • City of Burien v. VIP Lounge, Inc.  In an abatement action involving a chronic nuisance at an unlicensed business that experienced multiple episodes of criminal activity and repeated noise violations, the trial court granted our initial request for a Temporary Restraining Order and our subsequent Motion for Summary Judgment and a Permanent Injunction, enjoining the business from operating anywhere within the City.  We successfully obtained an Order obligating both the business and the property’s owner to pay for the City’s costs of abatement and legal expenses, as well as daily penalties set forth in City code.  The Court further ordered the property to remain closed to the public for a period of one year.
  • Burien v. Traut.  After attempting to work cooperatively with property owners who had constructed a garage and living quarters in the right-of-way, the City obtained a judgment and injunction requiring removal of the structure and reimbursement of the City’s legal and other fees.
  • Bothell v. Suarez and Flanagan.  Similar to the Burien v. Lipscomb matter, the City brought lawsuit for nuisance abatement against the property owners of an apartment complex for multiple violations of the municipal code, housing code, and building code.  The City obtained an injunction and other relief, including the evacuation and relocation of the apartment tenants.  The apartment complex was then rehabilitated in compliance with all applicable code provisions.  The City prevailed on summary judgment, and the Court entered a Judgment in favor of the City and against the property owners for almost $90,000 in costs and penalties.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the Judgment in the City’s favor.
  • Burien v. Lipscomb.  The City brought lawsuit for nuisance abatement against the property owners of an apartment complex for multiple violations of the municipal code, housing code, and building code.  We obtained an injunction requiring the evacuation and relocation of the apartment tenants, and also recovered $200,000 for the City in costs and penalties.
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