ORLAND, Maine — The town of Orland is preparing to go to court in order to seize property owned by Roger Miller, who, town officials claim, is in violation of a court order.
“We’re attempting to get a court date,” Selectman Wayne Ames said Monday.
The town will seek forfeiture of one or both of Miller’s properties in lieu of unpaid penalties stemming from ongoing violations of town ordinances.
The action comes after Miller allegedly failed to pay to the town penalties levied by the court in January.
The dispute between Miller and the town dates to 2004 when the town cited Miller for construction work done on property he owns on Castine Road in the village. He later was cited for work at another property on East Toddy Way. In both instances, Miller built on those properties either without a permit or beyond the limits of the town permits that had been issued.
In January 2008, Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy ruled in favor of the town on most of the issues cited in its suit. In an amended decision, Cuddy ordered Miller to pay fines and court costs and to make changes to the property to comply with the town’s ordinances.
According to court documents, Miller paid the fines and costs which totaled more than $30,000, but failed to make all of the necessary changes to the properties within the allotted time. The decision required Miller to seek permits for construction done within a flood hazard zone and to remove a flagpole installed without a per-mit, to seek a permit for expansion of a building by more than 30 percent, and to remove a garage built without a permit.
Miller could not be reached for comment Monday.
Court documents indicate Miller did begin the process to obtain permits for the work he had done, but did not file complete applications for any of those permits. He did remove a flagpole that had been installed without a permit, but not before the July 31, 2008, deadline set by the court.
Last October, the town filed a contempt complaint against Miller, and in January Justice Cuddy imposed additional penalties totaling more than $50,000.
According to Ames, Miller has paid approximately $15,000 of those penalties, but noted that the deadline for paying the fines had passed earlier this month.
The judge’s order anticipated a failure to pay the penalties and noted that the town could come back to ask for an additional judgment from the court, including placing liens on Miller’s property.