City files lawsuit against two local apartment complexes

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INDIANAPOLIS – The City of Indianapolis today announced the filing of public nuisance charges against two Indianapolis apartment complexes – La Esmeralda Apartments and Heather Ridge Apartments.

The suits allege since 2008 both properties unreasonably consumed city, public and law enforcement resources including more than 3,200 police runs and over 200 Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) and Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) investigations. Incidents at the complexes include: assault, narcotics, armed robbery, and homicide.

“It is absolutely critical to our efforts to combat crime and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods that we crack down on negligent property owners,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “We must hold property owners accountable for draining unnecessary public resources and damaging our communities.”

The City seeks an unspecified amount of financial restitution for damages caused, and demands both complexes increase crime prevention and awareness. This includes such steps as: maintaining the aesthetics of the property, installing/maintaining security cameras, hiring private security, and screening all approved applicants.

“The activities occurring at both locations demonstrate the apartments’ inabilities to operate responsible businesses and provide safe environments for their residents,” said City Prosecutor Samantha DeWester. “These property owners have created a public nuisance by allowing their properties to become hot spots for crime.”

La Esmeralda faced similar problems in 2012, when the Indianapolis Housing Authority ordered the complex pay back $347,000 in fines due to violations of Section 8 standards.

DCE’s Nuisance Abatement section works closely with office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) to protect the quality of life for neighborhoods by taking action against problem property owners.

The mission of the Office of City Prosecutor is to fairly adjudicate violations of the Revised Code of Indianapolis-Marion County in an effort to preserve and protect neighborhoods.

The mission of the Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) is to improve the quality of life in the City of Indianapolis through strategic application of civil code regulation; effective licensing, permitting, inspection, enforcement, and abatement practices; and local government oversight of property safety and maintenance, business, event, professional, and construction industries.

–Department of Code Enforcement – City of Indianapolis

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