The Alaska state court has ruled in favor of Jackson Mobile Home Park in two eviction proceedings and repudiated allegations that park management retaliated against tenants.
Jackson initiated eviction proceedings against Judi Kidder and David Masinter on May 23, citing a change in land use. The court’s findings issued on Thursday follow two legal proceedings — a June 8 eviction hearing and a July 13 evidentiary hearing.
Attorney Jill Wittenbrader, on behalf of Kidder and Masinter, argued that a lease between Emerald Isle Estates and Jackson Mobile Home Park Inc. allowing Jackson to operate a mobile home park there through May 1, 2018, show the plaintiff does not intend to close the park until at least 2018.
Kevin Suydam, president of both Emerald Isle Estates and Jackson following his purchase of the land in early 2015, signed the lease for both lessor and lessee.
Wittenbrader also referenced new month-to-month leases offered to renters remaining at the park.
In the findings of fact, the court determined that the May 2015 notice to quit and subsequent notices, a zoning permit obtained by the new owner in May 2015, and a decrease in lots rented since April 2015 show the plaintiff is acting in good faith to cease park operations.
The defendants, outspoken critics of the park’s new owners and management, also alleged their evictions were retaliatory.
In a post-hearing brief, Wittenbrader indicated the evictions were initiated on the business day following a confrontation between Kidder and Jackson representative Rick Ryser regarding alleged spread of “sewer sludge compost” near Kidder’s home.
The court found that, because the defendants “had been warned over a year prior to the initiation of this action,” the eviction “was not solely the result of the altercation.”
The court rejected claims that a new lease negated the original notice to quit served in May 2015.
The court gave the defendants until noon on Sept. 26 to vacate the lots, unless the parties make other arrangements in writing.
According to court documents, 50 mobile home lots were still being rented at Jackson as of June 29.
Judgments have yet to be issued in two hearings held Aug. 4. In another two cases heard that day, judgments were issued in favor of Jackson after defendants failed to appear.
Eviction proceedings have been initiated for six more Jackson lots. Those hearings have been scheduled for Aug. 29.