HOLLY TOWNSHIP, Michigan – Workers hauled bookcases, furniture, and boxes filled with family mementos from Timm and Maria Smith’s house on Monday as Holly Township officials refused to postpone an Order of Eviction.
The Smiths received an Order of Eviction on Feb. 21 stating that they had until 6 a.m. the following day to be out of their S. Holly Road home. Oakland County Commissioner Bob Hoffman, intervened, persuading Holly Township Supervisor Jesse Lambert to extend the eviction deadline until today.
Lambert agreed, and on Thursday, called a special meeting to further discuss the matter with board members. The Smiths and their attorney Casper Connolly, along with Hoffman and a handful of concerned residents attended the special meeting, pleading with members of the board to further extend the eviction.
“I don’t dispute that the township has the right to evict this family,” Hoffman said Monday. “What I question is why they couldn’t put this off for a while until the Michigan Court of Appeals makes its decision, and so far, nobody on the board has offered me any reason for the urgency.”
A member of the eviction crew ...
Hoffman said he is most disappointed by the fact that Lambert didn’t keep his word in helping to facilitate a negotiation between the township and the Smiths.
“Supervisor Lambert called me on Feb. 22 and told me that a meeting had been set up between the township’s and the Smith’s attorneys for noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28,” Hoffman said. “Then in the special meeting, he tells me that the meeting never existed,” Hoffman added. “And in the end, they adjourned to executive session to do what?” he asked. “To set up a meeting with the Smiths – all while still evicting them on Monday before any negotiations could happen.”
Over the weekend, Hoffman said he contacted many community leaders and concerned citizens on the matter, asking them to share their thoughts and concerns for the Smith family’s welfare with Lambert.
Lambert said the Smiths missed the opportunity to appeal the eviction by failing to file a brief with the 52-2 District Court earlier this month, and also have failed to make $1,500 monthly payments into a court-ordered escrow account since November.
“Really what it boils down to is that the Smiths have had an unlawful occupation of that home from day one,” Lambert said. “They moved back into the house without the township’s knowledge after their first eviction in September of 2010.”
Timm Smith and a friend busy t...
On Monday, Maria busied herself in a back bedroom while her husband continued to stuff clothing into a black plastic bag.
“Hey – you know, this is happening,” Maria said. “And when this comes before the Michigan Court of Appeals, the damages are going to triple for the township,” she added. “The gloves are off.”
The Smiths say they will be staying with a friend in the area until their case is heard by the Michigan Court of Appeals.