Abandoned Property

SECTION 34-44-4

§ 34-44-4. Public nuisance determination – Show cause hearing – Appointment of receiver.

(a) In any proceeding described in § 34-44-3 of this chapter, if the court makes the finding described in that section and additionally finds that the building in question constitutes a public nuisance and that the owner of the building has been afforded reasonable opportunity to begin correcting the dangerous or unsafe condition found or to begin eliminating the violation found and has refused or failed to do so, the court shall cause notice of its findings to be served upon the owner, each mortgagee or other lienholder of record, and any other interested party, and shall order the parties to show cause why a receiver should not be appointed to perform any work and to furnish any material that reasonably may be required to abate the public nuisance. The notice shall be served in the same manner as described in § 34-44-3 of this chapter.

(b) Before appointing a receiver to perform any work to abate a public nuisance under this chapter, the court shall conduct a hearing at which any mortgagee of record or lienholder of record, or other interested party in the order of his or her priority of interest in title shall be offered the opportunity to undertake the work and to furnish the materials as are necessary to abate the public nuisance. The court shall require the party selected to demonstrate the ability promptly to undertake the work required, to provide the judge with a viable financial and construction plan for the rehabilitation of the building, and to post security for the performance of the work. All amounts expended by the party toward abating the public nuisance shall be a lien on the property if the expenditures were approved in advance by the court and if the party desires such a lien. The lien shall bear the interest, and shall be payable upon the terms approved by the court. The lien shall have the same priority as the mortgage of a receiver, as set forth in § 34-44-6, if a certified copy of the court order that approved the expenses, the interest, and the terms of payment of the lien, and a description of the property in question are filed for record, within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance of the order, in the office of the recorder of deeds of the municipality in which the property is located. If the court determines at the hearing that no party can undertake the work and furnish the materials required to abate the public nuisance, or if the court determines at any time after the hearing that any party who is undertaking corrective work pursuant to this chapter cannot or will not proceed, or has not proceeded with due diligence, the judge may appoint a receiver to take possession and control of the property. The receiver shall be appointed in the manner provided in subsection (c).

(c) No person shall be appointed a receiver unless he or she first has provided the court with a viable financial and construction plan for the rehabilitation of the property in question and has demonstrated the capacity and expertise to perform the required work in a satisfactory manner. Prior to the appointment of a receiver the court may grant access to the property in question to any person who applies to be appointed the receiver of the property, for the limited purpose of developing a viable financial and construction plan for the rehabilitation of the property which shall include the items set forth in § 34-44-4.1. The appointed receiver may be a financial institution that possesses an interest of record in the property, a nonprofit corporation that is duly organized and has as one of its goals the improvement of housing conditions for low and moderate income persons in the municipality in which the property in question is located, or any other qualified property manager who certifies that any rehabilitation of the property in question will not result in the long term displacement of low and moderate income persons.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 447, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 254, § 1.)