Judge dismisses $68M lawsuit over home 'red tagged' in Youngstown
A federal judge has dismissed a $68 million dollar lawsuit filed by a Youngstown man who claimed the city violated his constitutional rights when inspectors “red-tagged” his southside home more than 4-and-a-half years ago.
U.S. District Judge J. Philip Calabrese granted a request for a summary judgment on behalf of the City of Youngstown’s Property Code Enforcement and Demolition Department, the Property Maintenance Appeals Board, and the Youngstown Police Department.
A city inspector red-tagged his 1,100 square foot home on Hilton Avenue in August 2017, stating that there was no running water or electrical service.
The red-tag designation mandated that anyone entering the home, including the owner, could be cited for trespassing.
Hauman, who argued that solar panels were installed at the home and had a rainwater collection system, was handcuffed by police on August 14, 2018, for a short time at the property until his girlfriend agreed to have the home’s water turned back on.
Acting as his own attorney, George Hauman filed the lawsuit in August 2019, alleging violation of his rights to due process and illegal search and seizure.
The lawsuit asked for $15 million in compensatory damages and $53 million in punitive damages.
According to the county auditor’s website, the 70-year-old home is currently valued at $20,930.
In his 21- page ruling, Judge Calabrese found that Hauman failed to prove his case and was given opportunities to appeal the city’s action.