Homeowner fined after cleaning mess, says process is too vague

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 24, 2014)– One Indianapolis homeowner says he is heading to court to prove a point after he claims he cleaned up a mess and was still fined!

AJ Yencha, who has owned a home on Carrollton Avenue for the last five years, says the compliance process from the Marion County Public Health Department is too vague.

In mid-March, Yencha received a notice from the Marion County Health Department.  A code inspector cited “scattered rubbish and wood on the ground.”

Two days later, Yencha paid $425 to have a tree service remove the debris and fallen branches that fell during the winter.

“I did what I needed to do,” said Yencha. “I threw away the letter and that was that.”

Less than two weeks later, Yencha was hit with a citation for the same violations.

The Marion County Health Department, which oversees the health and safety of every neighborhood, fined Yencha $100.

Homeowners have 14 days from the initial notice to comply with code.

“They said in a letter what needed to be cleaned up,” said Yencha. “I did it and now they want to fine me. It’s ridiculous.”

Lynne Lynch with the Marion County Health Department wouldn’t talk to FOX59 specifically about this case.

Lynch pointed out that in order for homeowners to understand exactly what’s being cited is to call and talk with the inspector directly.

“The inspector is the best person to speak to,” said Lynch.

Yencha wants more details added to violation notices.  He will present his case against the Marion County Health Department in court on July 15.

“I don’t think the homeowner should have to call in,” said Yencha. “I need more transparency. I’m doing everything to keep my home and lot look as good as possible.”

The Marion County Health Department encourages homeowners to call in with questions about compliance at 317-221-2150. Homeowners can also get information on how to find resources in the city to fix your home through the department.