Ming Kuo Yang and Julie Yang say they were never notified that their building would be torn down.
“Ultimately, after a year of correspondence erroneously addressed to ‘Mr. Gordon Joseph’ and sent to the property, (the city) discovered through a simple title search that the Repair/Demolish Notices were incorrectly mailed to the wrong person and wrong address,” attorney Gaetan Gerville-Reache wrote in the lawsuit.
City attorney Jack Sluiter responded: “Due to a software error, several notices were sent to the wrong party. However the city subsequently conducted a title search and sent the proper notices to (the Yangs). The city also sent notices to the realtor who had the property for sale and received no reply.”
He said that the issue also went before the Housing Board of Appeals for a public hearing. Notices were sent by regular mail and certified mail, he said. The regular mail was not returned, while no one picked up the certified mail.
The city demolished the Wyoming, Michigan building, which formery housed a restaurant, after declaring it abandoned, claiming it was not in use and in poor condition due to deterioration and vandalism. The city is seeking $22,500 from the Yangs, $15,000 for the demolition and the remainder for administrative costs. The Yangs contend the building was worth $100,000 and their lawyer argues the fact the certified mail was never picked up should’ve clued in city officials that the Yangs were unaware of the demolition proceedings.