Judge blasts Fla. county for demolishing soldier's home
Florida's Miami-Dade county's decision to demolish an active duty soldier's home while he was training to be deployed didn't sit well with the district judge. Fox News reports, "Jesus Jimenez was warned about code violations including exposed wires and a broken roof ... he requested an extension to get those things fixed ... the city claimed that active duty was not an excuse."
In 2011 the city knocked down Jimenez's home where he, his five-months-pregnant wife, diabetic daughter, hearing-impaired brother and mother-in-law all lived, says Daily Mail.
According to Military.com, Jimenez requested a stay to postpone the demolition four years earlier. In that request Jimenez cited the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law "intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members."
Miami-Dade's reasoning for demolishing the house: the act didn't apply to Jimenez. The county argued he was a reservist at the time of the request. The original request was also only for 90 days.
During the four years, he was sometimes training, deployed or sometimes home. But now that the case has reached U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr, the county's excuse for the demolition won't fly, says The Ledger.
Miami Herald reports in his order, Scola wrote the county had "missed the point." "Plaintiffs' behavior was by no means perfect ... but by enforcing the [Servicemembers Act], this Court has vindicated a national policy of high priority."
The county says during the four-year period it gave the family every opportunity to to make repairs. If a settlement is not reached, a trial is set for September to decide what Miami-Dade county owes Jimenez.
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