The Office of the City Attorney for the City of Birmingham has filed a lawsuit against the owners of East Thomas Apartments to have the property declared a public nuisance. The long-vacant multi-unit apartment complex has been the scene of many calls related to arson, violent crimes, illegal drug sales, overdoses and theft.
“When violence and drugs threaten public safety, it’s important that the city steps in to disrupt the flow of drugs into our streets, holds criminals accountable and makes our neighborhoods safer for residents, businesses and visitors,” said City Attorney Nicole E. King.
The lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court states the city has received and identified multiple complaints regarding the property located at 2000 10th Street West. The city notes East Thomas Apartments have become the launching pad for serious crime in the neighborhood in recent months. The city is asking the court to order the owners to make the property safe and habitable. The city has requested an emergency hearing before Circuit Judge Marshell Jackson Hatcher.
Notice was sent in April that the apartment complex was in violation of the city’s property maintenance code. The owners were given a May 27 deadline to bring the property into compliance. The city states the owners failed to do so. On May 28, the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service was called to a fire at the apartments. Much of the property was destroyed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“The city’s Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, Birmingham Police Department, local businesses and concerned neighbors helped bring this dangerous property to our attention,” King said. “The city will continue to identify problem properties and work with our partners to find solutions that strengthen neighborhoods and make Birmingham safer for residents, families and businesses.”
In the spring of 2020, the city attorney created the Drug and Nuisance Abatement Team (DNAT), which, through the courts, holds landowners accountable for keeping their properties clean and free of crime and blight. The team has successfully prosecuted 17 lawsuits and worked with other property owners to generate a safer environment for the residents, both on those properties and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
To report a nuisance property, contact the Office of the City Attorney via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-254-2369, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.