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Bremerton files suit against notorious drug property

Gregory Way apartments source of more than 200 calls since 2006.

Even though the Bremerton City Council passed a chronic nuisance property ordinance earlier this year, the City Attorney’s Office filed suit in Kitsap County Superior Court to “abate a drug nuisance pursuant to RCW 7.43.010 that is occurring at an apartment building located at 1215 Gregory Way.”

City Attorney Roger Lubovich sought a temporary injunction against property owners Larry and Barbara Schwoch at hearing Friday afternoon before Kitsap Superior Court Judge Russell Hartman.

In the complaint filed by the city, it states that the Bremerton Police Department first noticed that the 12-unit apartment complex had a disproportionate amount of service calls in 2005. Since January 2006 the BPD has responded to at least 215 incidents at the apartment complex and several letters from the department to the Schwoches resulted in no action, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, drug activity at the complex was reported as recently as March 25.

In the preliminary injunction, the city seeks to vacate and close the apartment complex by midnight June 1 and close it for one year, because of the continued illegal drug activity at the complex.

In the response to the city’s complaint, Seattle attorney H. Daniel Austad states that “there are issues that need to be determined by trial here both as to the present extent of unlawful drug in the premises and as to what the reasonable and necessary measures that are required of an owner of property for thing that he is neither involved in or has knowledge of until the action is brought.”

In response to Austad’s claim that the Schwoches had no knowledge of the illegal activity, the city’s response states “...defendants Schwoch have been given ample opportunity to abate the nuisance. The City has provided six letters to defendants Schwoch since 2006 informing them of illegal drug activity and their responsibility for abating it.”

According to the city’s response, neighbors of the apartments have complained to the Schwoches about the illegal drug activity and that “In fact, defendant, Larry Schwoch threatened to evict the tenants complaining of the drug activity because the complaining tenants were not getting along with the tenants engaging in illegal drug activity.”

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