Veteran evicted in sewer dispute
by Gary Kent
Mar 12, 2011 | 2275 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tony Baldarramos
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“I’ve got to be out of here by Tuesday,” said Tony Baldarramos this week.

His eviction hearing before Justice of the Peace Joe Lyvers ended with him being ordered to get out of his apartment at 301 W. Carter St.

Baldarramos said Lyvers told him he should have continued paying his rent and hired an attorney to fight it out with the owner of the apartment house in his effort to get a faulty sewer line repaired.

“He said I did it all wrong,” the Army veteran said Wednesday.

Baldarramos had quit paying his rent on a downstairs apartment in that building three months ago, telling the manager of the building, Justice of the Peace Raul Casarez, that he would not pay the rent until a two-year-old sewer leak was repaired.

Since then, standing water and sewage had spoiled the dirt behind the building, prompting city officials to say that the contaminated soil needs to be removed.

Baldarramos said the problem still is not properly repaired. But at least he had found another apartment and he has begun slowly moving his things to the new residence.

Baldarramos said he lived in the same apartment for 12 years, always paying his rent on time to the owner, Ben Rodriguez. When Rodriguez moved out of state, the tenant paid his rent to Casarez.

The sewer line from the house to the street began causing drainage backups two years ago and the situation slowly got worse.

Baldarramos said repeated efforts to get the problem fixed fell on deaf ears.

“I’m not going to get compensated,” the tenant said concerning work he had done himself on the lines.

Lyvers asked Baldarramos if he had the money to pay the back rent but the tenant said that has changed.

“Now I need money to get another place,” he said. He has had to pay a month’s rent and a deposit to get into the new place.

“I guess I’ll have to pay it back over time,” Baldarramos said Wednesday.

He is concerned about a woman who also lives in a downstairs unit in the building. She tried to help Baldarramos in his effort and now she, apparently, will have to move.

Baldarramos is helping her and her juvenile children to find another place.

“We’re poor people, I told the judge,” Baldarramos said. But that did nothing to change the outcome of the hearing. He said Lyvers told him that he had read the law on evictions and his hands were tied. Eviction was the only option.

Casarez declined to comment on the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing.

“I might have lost the war, but I won something,” Baldarramos said. “They’re gonna have to fix this, regardless. Hopefully, this is not the end of it.”

Baldarramos’ final comment on the situation came in two words: “I’m out,” he said.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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